[Reader-list] Media interference in judicial matters

A. Mani a.mani.cms at gmail.com
Sun Jul 1 04:53:25 IST 2012

Media-Aided Gameplan To Target CPI(M) -- III

Pinarayi Vijayan

PROTECTION of the democratic rights of all sections of the people is a
prerequisite for the survival of any democratic state. Protecting the
people from the state’s repression is a vital component of ensuring
their democratic rights. It was with this perspective in view that the
previous government, that of the Left Democratic Front (LDF), had
formulated the Police Act. This act aimed to avert any possibility of
torture against anyone in police custody. However, since the United
Democratic Front (UDF) came to power about a year ago, the Kerala
police has been giving short shrift to the provisions in the Police
Act and resorting to terrific torture of those in its custody. On its
part, the CPI(M), as a movement that aims to defend among other things
the civil rights of the people, endeavours to focus attention on the
issue of slaughter of people’s liberties and rights on one pretext or



The judiciary in a democratic system always underlines the view that
the statements related to a case inquiry cannot be made public and the
judiciary has, in its numerous verdicts, forbidden to do so. The
Supreme Court and the Kerala High Court, on many occasions, cautioned
against the possible tribulations that may occur if any information
contained in a case diary is published during the course of
investigation. In the Murukesan vs State of Kerala case, the Kerala
High Court opined that after registering a criminal case and sending
the FIR to a magistrate’s court, any police officer must not provide
any information related to the the investigation or its progress to
the public. If any investigating officer acts against this principle,
the court felt, his or her act would amount to misconduct and would be
liable for disciplinary action. A court need not accept a piece of
evidence gathered by the investigating officers during the course of
an investigation; the court may well reject it during the trial if it
finds that such statements and evidence were collected through
coercive measures. The court further held that publication of such
matters during the progress of an investigation is not in the interest
of society, and therefore clarified that the investigating officers
and media people who are found guilty of breach of this directive
would be liable to legal proceedings.

In the Jesicca Lal murder case, the Supreme Court also warned against
the media trials that obliterate the right of the accused to prove
their innocence. The court felt that such media trials are an
intrusion into the fundamental right to life of the accused. The court
pointed out the urgent need of stopping the media trials until the
conclusion of an investigation. In the Kannan vs State of Kerala case,
also the Kerala High Court too delivered a similar verdict.



However, nowadays, the media propaganda going on regarding the
purported statements of the accused in connection with the wretched
murder of Chandrasekharan is in contravention of precisely these very
court directives. The propaganda is so blatant that anyone can
understand this fact. Today, such fictitious tales and propaganda are
coming out incessantly, transgressing the limits of decency and
propriety, and are being used to damage the CPI(M).

It was in such a situation that the Kozhikkode district committee of
the party felt constrained to file a writ petition so as to bring the
question of violation of fundamental rights to the notice of the court
and ask it to ensure a fair and unobstructed investigation.
Unfortunately, some quarters termed even this effort for legal remedy
as an assault on the freedom of the press and media. If that is the
case, isn’t it that the abovementioned court verdicts themselves
infringe upon the freedom of the press and media? Insofar as we
remember never did the media or the present advocates of press freedom
raise any objection against such verdicts. In fact they are concerned
neither with the freedom of the press nor with the court verdicts; all
their rhetoric about media freedom etc are motivated by their blatant
opposition to the CPI(M) as they seek to pounce upon every opportunity
to damage the party. It has to be understood that such a malevolent
humbug is a part of their ploy to disrupt the CPI(M) at any cost.

There is no doubt that the media have every right to investigate and
publish the news and have their own views about those news. But it is
certainly undesirable if they spread news on the basis of a tampered
case diary and fabricated statements which were taken by the police
through sheer torture and coercion. Indeed, as an affected party being
targeted with such fictitious tales, the CPI(M) has every right to
seek some legal remedy.

In fact, if the police has registered criminal cases against Elamaram
Kareem, it was precisely because he had drawn attention to the views
expressed by the higher judiciary in similar cases. How can it be
argued, then, as illegal when one has the undeniable legal footing
while asking the judiciary to ensure protection to citizens from the
unprecedented police terror? The democratic sections will indubitably
recognise the fact that while intervening and bringing this question
to the public domain so as to protect the people’s interest, Elamaram
Kareem was dutifully discharging his responsibility as a legislator
and as a social activist.

Immediately after the heinous murder of Chandrasekharan at Onchiyam,
the leadership of the RMP, aided by the police, unleashed an abhorrent
terror campaign against the CPI(M). Seventy five houses were destroyed
in this locality. These untainted ‘revolutionaries’ did not even
hesitate to destroy the paintings of Marxist philosophers including
Marx and Engels. An Onchiyam martyr, Mandodi Kannan, who had never
capitulated before the police torture, had once depicted the symbol of
sickle and hammer with his own blood while bleeding in the jail
because of the police torture. But the miscreants did not spare
Mandodi Kannan’s memorial either. Moreover, massive destruction of the
libraries and reading rooms in the whole area under the leadership of
the RMP, aided by the police, reminded us of how in 1948, when the
Communist Party was banned, many libraries and reading rooms were
destroyed by the then police and the ‘Cherupayar army’ formed by the
Congress to attack the communists. Many people could not even dare to
sleep in their own houses just because of they were related to the



On its part, the CPI(M) took the position that its intervention should
not cause any frenzied situation. Those who deliberately lay the
responsibility of the murder on the CPI(M)’s shoulders should be
reminded of the fact that it was the party’s patience and tolerance
that helped avert an extensive hostility in this area. The police did
not register any case against the criminals, who had destroyed houses
and led the attack and plunder, under the relevant sections of the
Indian Penal Code. There is no gainsaying the police did register some
cases against the assailants, but these were only on insignificant
charges and that too only after the people started resisting the
police collusion and attitude with massive protest programmes.

These days it is being argued that the RMP was formed at Onchiyam on
the basis of certain ideological questions. Such an argument or
justification is absolutely erroneous and misleading, based on a
tampering of the facts. The reality is that these sections left the
CPI(M) just because of their opposition to giving the Eramala
panchayat presidentship to the Janata Dal, after a two years tenure.
This was on the basis of a decision of the Left Democratic Front (LDF)
and did not indeed involve any ideological dispute. Thus most of these
sections left the CPI(M) because of a misunderstanding of the

On its part, the CPI(M) endeavoured its best to bring them back to the
party fold and persuade them to rectify their mistakes. So as to
accomplish this objective, the CPI(M) vigorously explained its
political position that the stand adopted by these disgruntled
elements would only help weaken the communist movement and its drive
to assist the rightwing forces. While doing so, the party asked its
cadres at various levels to hold discussions with these elements,
individually and collectively, in order to bring them back to the
CPI(M). Moreover, such discussions were also giving result and soon
reached at a stage where one could hope that this task would register
total success. However, at this point these elements withdrew
themselves for unknown reasons. It is another thing that the CPI(M)
effectively brought back many of these comrades to the party fold and
provided them an opportunity to rectify their mistakes. The CPI(M)
will continue its effort in future as well.

One should also keep in mind as to who were the real beneficiaries of
such political organisations. The Vadakara parliamentary constituency
is considered as a stronghold of the LDF. But the UDF was able to win
it in the 2009 parliament elections. It is a fact that, along with
some other factors, the formation of the RMP contributed to the UDF’s
victory. The people of the area, and especially the RMP’s activists,
are well aware of how the RMP intervened in many ways to ensure the
victory of the UDF in the parliamentary elections. Those sections, who
appeared on the scene while claiming that they are the real left
alternative, in effect paved the way, by their activities, for the
rightwing politics to gain and aid the reactionaries to enter a Left



Today, these sections are arguing that the revolutionary perspective
of the CPI(M) has got seriously eroded and that the Congress party and
the rightwing forces need to be opposed more vigorously. Then the
question is: Even after such ‘revolutionary’ rhetoric, why do the
rightwing forces do not consider them as their opponents but are, in
its stead, encouraging them? Analysing this fact may help one to
easily understand the reality behind such revolutionary pretensions.
No one would seriously care about it if the rightwing forces label any
such allegation or mount their hostility against the CPI(M) in a state
like Kerala where the Left sensibility is developed; in fact such an
attack cannot hope to have any significant influence upon the people.
However, when such an attack comes from certain quarters which claim
to be the true ‘left,’ it may well create confusion among the people
and mislead some of the sections. That is the very reason the rightist
forces provide all help and encouragement to such elements. The people
of Kerala are well aware of the facts regarding the nexus of the
Trinamul Congress and the Congress with the so-called Maoists that was
aimed at obliterating the Left in West Bengal. In Kerala too, aided by
the bourgeois controlled media, such forces are making similar
endeavours, and hence it is the responsibility of those stand by the
Left to recognise this reality.

The CPI(M) does not believe that any idea whatsoever can be
obliterated by eliminating the individuals who advocate that idea. The
CPI(M)’s fight against left sectarianism is permeated with this very
understanding. The CPI(M) has grown up by firmly fighting, among other
things, against the ‘extermination theory’ propagated by the
naxalites. This is the reason for the CPI(M)’s open position that such
acts are wrong. It has also moved into action to rectify whenever any
such deviation or erroneous tendency appear among the comrades at any
point of time.

This understanding is in sharp contrast to the Congress leader K
Sudhakaran’s open declaration in a public meeting that Nalpadi Vasu
must be eliminated. Moreover, it was he, and also M V Raghavan along
with him, who had sent a team to kill E P Jayarajan of the CPI(M).
However, while the Congress party has never condemned such heinous
acts, it is now in full gear to blame the CPI(M) for precisely such
acts. Can one forget that it was the Congress party which got killed
Moyarath Shankaran who had written a history of the Indian National
Congress and had later left the Congress and joined the communist
movement? It is the same Congress party that got many other comrades
killed. But it is precisely the same party that is now ridiculously
trying to teach to the CPI(M) the virtues of democratic politics!

Let’s point out in unequivocal terms: while many comrades, like the
SFI’s leader K V Sudheesh, were brutally killed by our political
opponents including the RSS and the Congress, the CPI(M) has advanced
by resisting and overcoming all such impediments.

T P Chandrasekharan was not the first individual who left the CPI(M)
and formed a political party; in the past many have resorted to such
moves against the party. They also launched attacks against the party
in many ways and took the help of the rightwing media for the purpose.
Yet the CPI(M) has defended itself from all such attacks ideologically
and politically; indeed this has been the categorical stand of the
party. That's why the CPI(M) declared that if any party member was
found involved in T P Chandrasekharan’s pathetic murder, the party
would take firm disciplinary action against him or her. But it
certainly does not mean that we should initiate disciplinary action
against the party comrades who have been arrested on the basis of a
script prepared by certain interested quarters. The CPI(M) has decided
to conduct an inquiry into the matter on its own, and will not be
found reluctant to take firm action if at all anyone of the party
members is found involved.

Dubbing the CPI(M) as a party of assailants has also been a
smokescreen for the UDF government that continues with its plot to
foist forged cases against CPI(M) leaders and cadres. The case of M M
Mani is a case in point. Highlighting the political mistake committed
by Mani in his speech, the UDF government attempted to foist criminal
cases against him, irrespective of the real gravity of his mistake.
While trying to expose and resist such politically motivated moves,
the CPI(M) is of the firm opinion that the killers of T P
Chandrasekharan must be brought to book, which aim requires an
independent and transparent investigation.



A. Mani

A. Mani

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