A man, victimized by the system in place and prevailing rogues therein, petitions the court of law, seeking justice in his favour.

Prompting on the complaint petition, the court issues a notice to the respondent, who, however, turns deaf ears on several occasions. Irritated by the irresponsible behaviour of the respondent, the court issues a final warning and orders the presence of the respondent in order to dispense the case.

The respondent finally appears before the court and submits that the complaint filed by the petitioner is fake and the petitioner himself is not alive any longer. Hence, the case must be dismissed.

However, the petitioner taking his turn says, “the petition is bona fide and there is not even an iota of doubt about any fact and figures presented. I am the petitioner and I am all alive and stand before you in person.”

On contrary, the respondent refutes his presence and argues that there is a mere resemblance of the name but the fact of the matter is the actual petitioner is dead and hence he requests the court to ask the petitioner to produce a life certificate to prove his claim whatsoever.

“Why do I produce a life certificate when I am alive and stand before you with all wits, my lord?” The depressed petitioner questions the court with all modesty.

The petitioner cannot have such temerity to question your lordship, more particularly when the justice is delivered on the basis of documents of proofs and shreds of evidence as per section this- this of the Indian Law.

The petitioner must prove himself if his claim is genuine. He cannot shy away from the judicial process in practice. The court orders him to produce a life certificate in three weeks of time.

The petitioner reaches the doctor and narrates the story of his ordeal at the court of law and seeks his help for a copy of a certificate in his favour as soon as possible.

At doctor’s, for a death certificate, one needs to pay Rs 1,000 only. After all, it is after the date of expiry. The expired one does not cost much. For a life certificate, you will have to pay a bigger amount. It would be as minimum as Rs 1, 00,000/-.

The victim said, “it is too high for me to pay for the certificate. I cannot afford to shell out that much. Moreover, when I am alive why do I need to cough up such an exorbitant amount of money?”

Hearing this argument of the needy man, the doctor shouted, “go back from here. You say that you are alive, why don’t you issue a certificate for yourself? Are you a doctor? Mind you, I am a doctor, not you. I have earned a degree for the purpose. You know how? Do you know how much have I spent for it?”

To ward off, the doctor ordered his security personnel to drive him away. Acting upon the doctor’s instruction, the security staff began to follow the suit. However, he collected himself and pleaded the doctor again to accept Rs 50,000 for now and the rest of the amount once he is proved alive. The doctor got convinced with this idea of workable business.

Now little elated, the petitioner produced the hard-earned certificate before the court for consideration and adjudication of the matter finally.

Now a new twist in the case comes up. The shrewd respondent now questions the genuineness of the certificate, calling it fake and self-manufactured. This must be sent to the forensic lab for verification and examination. The court admits the argument and orders the certificate be examined at forensic lab, summoning the doctor.

The respondent being shaky about the forensic lab as it is the part of the same government machinery he is victimized by. He reaches the lab and requests the chair in place that he should be acknowledged alive as he stands in person. The forensic expert says he smells a rat in the case. If you expect a favour, you should do something special. The obligation is done. All verified and a favourable certificate is issued.

The certificate reaches the court but it is late now as the summer vacation begins for almost two months. The next date of hearing is fixed. The matter is posted.

Post vacation the court reopens on a different note. The retirement of the judge is declared on that date and hence a new bench will assume the chair that will hear the case and adjudicate matter. It is announced.

Accordingly, yet another date after a gap of six months is announced. The petitioner begins to lose his confidence and goes all time low. He remains in extreme anxiety and depression for the travesty of the justice delivery system.

He meets an accident on the road while returning to his home from his workplace. He is declared brought dead at the hospital issues a death certificate to meet the formality. The new bench sits and hears the case and the death certificate is placed by the respondent before the Hon’ble Court on record. With a note that the lone petitioner is no longer in existence, the case is dismissed and disposed of.

The respondent manipulating the situation addresses the media that he has won the case as his contention is proved correct that the petitioner is dead. He thanks the judicial system and invites everyone to repose faith in the judiciary.

But then the real story of his accidental death which was orchestrated and how the case proceeded, all leaks in the media and the case becomes a subject matter for discussions and debates in the parliament and every nook and cranny in the country. And so is the story before you to contemplate. Travesty! Travesty! Travesty!

Dr. Birbal JhaDr Birbal Jha is a noted author and Managing Director of Lingua Multiservices Pvt Ltd. He is credited as creating a revolution in English training in India with slogan ‘English for all’.