Photograph of Anil Chawla



Author - Anil Chawla

The article about denial of mercy to Dhananjoy generated some very interesting comments. I reproduce here all the comments received. I have not replied to any of the comments. You, the reader, can make your own judgement.

With Best Wishes and Regards,

Anil Chawla

August 2004

Dear Anil,

Every word of those 2100, you have written, confirms that they have come from your heart, which feels pain for the apathy of the system.

It is true that the cases of Dhanjaya and Ashu are the two extreme colours of the judicial spectrum , but mostly it is fair. I agree that sometimes when the ill-trained or eqipeed counsels plead on behalf of the poor accused, the accused victims of the society get penalised, and languish behind the bars, but to elevate the stadards of our judicial system, at par with western democracies requires extensive overhauling in the legal education and judicial system.

I was also of the same opinion about Dhanjanaya , in fact that night I was awake untill 4.30 morning, trying to imagine how one would feel, who is about to be hanged, but one must not be disheartened, our judicial system is still far better than 3/4th countries of the rest of the world.

I can vouch for it because I have suffered the wrath of the Indian criminal Judicial system, which ultmately tured an IIT graduate with a PhD from US in to an Indian Lawyer.

Finally I read all your works, which you forward to me, and I guess this is probably one of the best among them. My mother used to say that there still are some honest thinking people among our society who keep the society tied together, like a rope keeps the bundle of fire wood otherwise the Indian society would have collapsed by now. After reading your work I could reappreciate the wisdom of these words of my late mother.

Keep people thinking , and good luck


Rakesh Saxena
Advocate on record.
RhS, PhD

So u r sorry for POOR dhananjay. What a martyr and great soul is made out of him by media. his last words how calm and composed he was. I wonder if any of them will have the guts to sit and think and feel what the girl must have undergone while being victimised and murdered. how calm and composed she must have been too. but alas, i am sure there will be people who will say she was actually enjoying being raped and killed.

A country must doom if it cannot punish guilty.

krishna need not take awtar to punish the guilty but to destroy the nation which has lost its will power to punish guilty.

Leena Mehendale

Dear Mr. Chawla,

I fully agree with your assessment. Even though in the past I have differed with your views, in this case I could not agree more. I wish there were more folks like you who could mould public opinion to change these things.


Ritobrata Banerjee

Hi Anil,

Are U in any way suggesting an innocent person has been hanged?

According to your profile "ANIL CHAWLA is an engineer (and now a lawyer too)..."

Do U really believe those in your profession are as incompetent as to let an innocent person be sentenced to death. C'mmon man!

I agree, an extremely competent and highly skilled lawyer (mis-using some legal loop-holes) might be able to save a murderer from the gallows, but surely the reverse-argument doesn't hold much water.

The Indian judicial system is based on "presumption of innocence" i.e. a convict is innocent, until proven guilty, beyond doubt. Do you think all those High Court and Supreme court judges are bumbling idiots, who can be misled by cops, planted evidence, fabricated stories etc. (Have we been watching too much of CSI?)

In the supposedly heart-rending story of Ashu (your good friend) what shocked me beyond belief, was they way U portrayed Ashu as a victim, despite being the one who had hired cops (instead of goons) to falsely implicate and mercilessly beat up his landlord. Well the cops botched it, and as can be expected, tried to pass the buck on to the one who had ordered the contract.

Seriously, I've seen dog-poop, with more ethics than U'r friend Ashu.

As a result of his nauseating-arrogance and sheer inhumanity, a law abiding journalist died in police custody. Ashu then went on to clear himself, using unlimited resources of political clout and goon-muscle, while U cheered him on. And now U are actually feeling sorry that Dhananjoy was not able to similarly buy his way to freedom, like U'r friend Ashu did !!!

Usually I wouldn't dignify such a crappy argument with a response, but my boiling point has been reached, so here goes... Allow me to vent...

BTW U'r post inspired me to come up with another lawyer joke... (a little comic relief)

Q: Why are lawyers, so strongly against Capital punishment?

A: No repeat business.

Hemant Sonawane,
IITB, 1996

The above message has been truncated.

Dear Anil,

Your sympathies are misplaced; pseudo intellectualism. While sympathy is a emotion which signifies evolved thinking, but dispassionate decision has a higher status. Given the iota of error of judgement or even victimisation, the punishment is more symbolic to the spectators who are watching extremely carefully as to the results of such criminal actions. If the criminal is rewarded, you will reinforce is propensity to commit the crime.

The rights of the president and the governor to pardon criminals should be withdrawn.

best regards
Anil Bansal


i read the is well written..but we can't excuse a person bcoz others were excused. if a mistake(if it was...i cant say) was done once..we cant use it as ladder to give mercy to dhananjoy..

Think of the girl who was the victim of dhananjoy...if u say tht dhananjoy had the right to live then the girl was also havin the right to live in soceity with respectable position. if one argues tht its the soceity fault tht the girl is not given the respectable position..then in wanna ask how many of u can marry a raped victim. Rape criminals are getting so much freedom bcoz they r not punished harshly (if in any case they r punished).

n if u think of his widow wife..remember tht his wife was not ready to take his body. can u think y? bcoz at heart she is feelin so much guilt tht her husband did tht..n if we assume tht he wud hav got mercy plea then wud his wife wil ever be able to live fulheartedly with him..

he shd hav thought about her n his relatives before doin this dreadful act.

i think he was fulconscious while makin the girls life hell.

if u say tht we dont hav right to take ones life then who gav dhananjoy the right to take others happiness. noone..

n if we start thinkin tht the case may be wrong then no criminal will get the deserved punishment.

i hope you wil think somewht abt the girl victim also n wont criticise soo much abt this act.

yours sincerely

Sonal Gupta
Undergraduate Student, IIT Roorkee

I was almost convinced. I knew many such cases of planting dummies by underworld people. A approver becoming hostile later. A life term will increase that phenomenon more. Hanging is a deterant like all other laws of punishment. Shashural (jail) or 'mamabarhi' is not in our concept but these people have.

Arjun in the battle of Mahabharat, was perplexed in the same manner when he found that he had to kill his near and dears. Gita was delivered. Bhisma, Drona and all others killed. Anyway I think the society is to be prepared first to that standard. Kshama Brihato Dharma, but plz don't think from one angle.

Jesus also said " forgive them as they do not know what are they doing" Our Sanatan Dharma is also against unneccessory deaths but never banned it.


Kalyan Panda

For the original article "INNOCENCE AND GUILT", Please click here.

Almost one month after writing the above article, the author had written an article Crime And Punishment about role of punishment in prevention of crime. If you have enjoyed reading the article on this page, you may like to read that article.

Please write to me your comments about the above debate.

ANIL CHAWLA is an engineer (and now a lawyer too) by qualification but a philosopher by vocation and a management consultant by profession.

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