11/03/2006

Sagarika Ghose interviews Ram Jethmalani

Check out this interview on CNN-IBN of Ram Jethmalani by Sagarika Ghose. The title of the article is "Raging Jethmalani vows to save Manu, slams media". Firstly, the title is misleading. I would suggest changing it to "Raging Jethmalani forcefully tackles stupid and self-righteous Ghose". Secondly, Jethmalani only wovs to give Manu Sharma a fair trial, not to save him (atleast in this interview).



The interview didn't look good right from the beginning. The first question by Ghose itself was stupid in my opinion. She asks
SG: In defending Manu Sharma, are you in some sense defending or attempting to defend the indefensible?
What bullshit is this ? No one, whether it be Manu Sharma or even Saddam Hussein for that matter is indefensible. This is what differentiates a modern society from stone age trials. Everyone is considered innocent until a fair trial is over and proven guilty. It doesn't matter what the public thinks about the person. No wonder our old man is raged right from the beginning. Her second question is
SG: But sir, aren’t you worried that you are going against the tide of public opinion
IMHO, no lawyer should be worried of going against the tide of public opinion. A lawyer's job is to defend their client. Things would have been so nice if Galileo had a lawyer who was not afraid of going againts public sentiments!

SG: But sir, you have gone against your own family, tide of public opinion, against the citizens of India. The Press is merely reflecting…
Sagarika continues the same stupid question. Jethmalani's answer is the most fitting here. He replies,
RJ: I decide according to my conscience who to defend and please understand and tell those people who are asking this question that there is a statutory rule of the Bar Council of India that a lawyer who refuses to defend a person on the ground that people believe him to be guilty is himself guilty of professional misconduct.
Again, the same question in a different form.
SG: But as a criminal lawyer, don’t you believe there is a lakshman rekha that even all criminal lawyers have to work under?
RJ: Please don’t talk of this bull shit to me. I know what my lakshman rekha’s are.
SG: But what makes you so convinced about the innocence of Manu Sharma?
RJ: I am only convinced that the man is entitled to a fair trial. He is entitled to the services of a good lawyer. Courts will decide and no Pressman, no editor or television will crew will decide.
This question is one more reason why I feel the title is misleading. Jethmalani only wows to give the man a fair trial. Not to prove him innocent by any means. Ghose goes on with her next rant.
SG: But it’s not just the Press. It is your own family, which has said that they don’t want you to take this case.
Yeah right, lawyers should consult their spouses before taking up cases from now on. The next question is really really self righteous.
SG: But why don’t you search your own conscience. A young girl was shot in the presence of a hundred people.
RJ: I am searching my own conscience. All this bullshit won’t convince me at all. My conscience is mine and you are not responsible for it. And I don’t sell my conscience either to you or to anybody else nor will I change my professional etiquette because some chip of a girl comes and tells me that something is wrong.
SG: But why have you decided to take him on as a client?
RJ: I will because it is my right and my duty because you don’t know the duties of a lawyer. You have not read the statutory rules of the Bar Council. You don’t know a word.
I think CNN-IBN should give SG a crash course on how to ask questions to a smart and great lawyer. The media is all welcome to do their own "investigation", but if they start questioning rights of lawyers to defend people, they are bound to get trashed. And Jethmalani did a good job at that.