Procedural Issues

Procedural Issues
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The photojournalist from Kashmir, Kamran Yusuf, has been granted bail by a Delhi court. Kamran, it may be recalled, had been arrested by the NIA on “charges of stone pelting and being a conduit for funding. The court had ordered Kamran to pay two sureties worth INR fifty thousand. About thirty five journalists from Kashmir pooled and contributed this amount for Kamran’s bail. In terms of the case against the photojournalist, it would, on the face of it , appear that the NIA’s case was based on tenuous grounds. But, the fact of the matter, generally speaking, is that when states go against and after individuals, it is extremely difficult for individual(s) to seem remedial measures. Litigation is expensive and time consuming; the state has ample resources and staying power and so on. All in all then state action, regardless of the grounds and premises for this, against individuals is powerful. Now returning to Kamran’s case, the photojournalist has gotten a reprieve. But, among the issues that his case and the bail raises is the process of securing bail and sureties. Bail, in cases of this nature, is usually granted when and if gazetted officers (employees of a certain rank in the government) provide and furnish guarantees. This process gets compounded in its complexity if the bail is to be granted in locales away from Srinagar. Often times and perhaps for obvious reasons, people hesitate to do so, adding to the problems of a person whose bail is in the process of being granted. This particular issue assumes salience and significance if the person is poor and thereby, on account of his or her financial problems and issues, is either unable to secure bail. The process and the administrative minutiae associated with bails and furnishing guarantees then becomes onerous and very problematic. Given the fact of conflictual conditions in Kashmir, it is not farfetched to posit cases, especially that of political prisoners , will find their way in courts and what have you. The process of bail then must be simplified and made easier. These cases must not get trapped and lost in the maze of bureaucratic and administrative minutiae. Kamran’s case, granting of bail to him and other issues related to the case could serve as the bellwether cases that induces a review and simplifies the procedural aspects of bails. Last, but not least, people like Kamran, when he is released, must be allowed to resume normal lives.

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