GD Monday – ‘Celebrities Can Escape Crime’ – Week 1

The new season of GD Mondays is back!

We start the first week of this season with a social issue.

 

Do you feel that celebrities have more perks that normal people don’t have? Can a person with a higher status and more wealth escape the law? Does this prove that money triumphs over truth? Or does the media publicize it unnecessarily just because they are in the public’s eye 24×7? What is your view?

This is how it will work:

1) Users can post their arguments in the comments section below by logging in through their www.insideiim.com User id.

2) You can argue and counter-argue on the topic for the entire week.

3) The thread will be moderated by Team InsideIIM to ensure the discussion is kept relevant and is not abusive.

4) On Saturday, experts and industry professionals at InsideIIM (all ex-IIM, XLRI, ISB only) will rate each argument on the thread on the scale of 10 with some guidance.

This cannot replace the experience of the actual GD but this exercise will surely help you shape your line of thought. While we may not be able to help you here with your delivery, we ensure that if you go through these next few weeks with us on this thread you will markedly improve your content. Hopefully, there will be more substance when you actually speak in a GD after going through this exercise.

Find the 2013-14 season of GD Monday here.

Find the 2014-15 season of GD Monday here.

 

Team InsideIIM

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Comments

23 comments

Soaham Datta

|No celebrities cannot escape crime in our country. We have seen that time and again in case of Shiney Ahuja, Sanjay Dutt, Monica Bedi etc. Our courts try them just as a common Indian national can be and should be tried. However they have a distinct advantage when it comes to hiring the best of defence lawyers. Unfortunately, our judicial system isn’t strong enough to provide excellent lawyers to those who are not in a position to hire the same.

Team Insideiim

Decent opening arguments (considering both this comment and the next one below). If you can articulate well while talking you will get more points in the actual GD. 6.5/10 – You need not necessarily speak on the Salman Khan issue as the GD is about our Justice system, the culture of celebrities, the media and the way it sways public opinion around it. Always try to look at the issue in the larger scheme of things and not on specific cases.

Soaham Datta

Coming to the recent verdict concerning Salman Khan, it was a more of a failure of the prosecution than of the justice system. The court had to objectively hand out the clean chit to Salman Khan as the prosecution could not present seriously incriminating evidence. However, this is just a one-off case as we have seen the justice system working just fine in the afore-mentioned cases.

Gargi Priyadarsini

Celebrities are put on a high pedestal by the public,but when comes to justice they should be equal before the law.This is not the case in India.The more wealthy and famous personality you are there are more chances of distortion of evidence,media playing a detective with all kinds of stories woven around and justice being prevailed in favour of the rich and famous.Considering the pace of our judiciary ,it takes generation to just have a hearing for the cases.Celebrities have the uncanny privilege of using wealth and their stature to delay the process and thus give enough time to the public to lose interest in the case .Indian judicial system should be transparent enough to treat everyone equal and mete out justice based on true evidence and should not be influenced by a person’s wealth or fame.

Team Insideiim

Hi Gargi, You make some valid points and are also articulate but you need not be so extreme in generalizing that celebrities are not equal before the law. Don’t let specific cases colour your opinions in general – even if you have those – not wise to express in a GD. Slow pace of judiciary is a good point. 6.5/10

Harshad Rane

When we speak of celebrities escaping justice, we must first ask one question – how relevant/popular is the celebrity today? Most of the time, celebrities who are more popular and thus have greater public influence tend to get off. Sanjay Dutt was successful in postponing his appointment with justice as long as his star was shining. But when his career was on the wane, he found himself within the reach of the law.
Salman provides the counterpoint to this, allegedly having used influence to make the prosecution deliberately bungle investigations and present a weak case.
Another factor that may influence outcomes is who they’re related to. Would Sanjay Dutt’s situation be different if Sunil Dutt were still a minister in a Congress government?

Team Insideiim

Hi Harshad, A lot of what you said could be true but using specific cases to generalize may not be a good strategy. Try to focus wider on the issues in India with regards to the delay in getting justice, inability of the less privileged to get help, media impact etc. 5.5/10

poojafragrant

Right to Equality says everyone is equal before the law.
Whether its Maruti Suzuki Labours,locked in jail from more than two years for a crime committed by few others.
Or whether its ‘The Salman Khan’ who was acquitted in spite committing murders , as the car has self driven!
Moreover,to treat every one equally without considering caste,creed or status the court has to take judgement and that’s why the Lady of Justice is blindfolded.
But I guess with the time the Lady has gone Blind .

Team Insideiim

Same issues with this one as mentioned earlier. Adds little new to the discussion. If you are entering so late in the discussion you need to bring a new point. 4.5/10

Rajshree Gupta

Law,as written, holds everyone equal. There are certain loopholes in the legal system which somehow, favors people with power, monetary influence and social stature. The cases not having sound evidences, whistleblower backing out because of security issues add onto all this. Celebrities with immense wealth can hire lawyers who are aware of the loopholes in the Indian legal system. Bail, parole is a cakewalk for these celebrities. And with Salman Khan’s acquittal, it seems our country is heading towards the time when celebrities can escape crime.

Shikhar Mahalwala

The loopholes in the laws exist. Yes. But that they only exploited by celebrities is somewhat a controversial statement. Recently adjudged Nirbhaya Case saw a juvenile escape the punishment (No celebrity here) due to weak laws. So, personally I don’t think the money has got anything to do with these loopholes which many exploit, and go unnoticed.

Rajshree Gupta

FYI, the nirbhaya case mentioned here, the juvenile did not escape the crime. He was released after serving a three year sentence behind bars. The Indian legal system has determined a short term sentence for a minor for committing such a heinous crime. While in Salman Khan’s case, he was acquitted of all charges with the court saying, ‘Suspicion cannot be grounds for conviction’. Police investigations were termed faulty with no account of the real culprit. What does all of it depict? Celebrities are actually escaping crime because of the influence and network they hold.

Shikhar Mahalwala

Let us keep the tone a little lighter. I agree with you that the juvenile got what is ‘written in the law’ but not what ‘he should have got’. I am no one to decide that but still if others can be sentenced to death why not him. Similarly, Salman Khan escaped law because of the famous ‘Lack Of Evidence’. My point is to make laws which can, at the least, sanction punishments in clear cases as this one. These are the cases where certain loopholes are used. Again, the media coverage to this particular case has brought it to light. One other less reported example of ‘lack of evidence’ is here ” http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/katwa-gangrape-court-acquits-all-accused-due-to-lack-of-evidence/ ” And I am sure there are hundreds of unreported cases as well.

Rajshree Gupta

Well, I believe that both of us are trying to make the same point as far as the Indian legal system is concerned. Flaws exist. People are aware of it. The main question is, who is actually benefiting from it? People with power, influence or a strong public backing That was my entire point.

Shikhar Mahalwala

I think a single point separates us. I say many have been benefitted from these loopholes but only the ‘powerful and famous’ comes to light.

Team Insideiim

@Shikhar – Very interesting that you brought up this point. Although not directly connected to the topic, happy to see someone look at the GD with a different lens and making a good interjection. Bonus points for this

Team Insideiim

@Rajashree – As mentioned earlier, you are letting one or few cases dictate your opinion – the argument does not sound mature although your articulation is decent. 5/10 (marks for your opening argument)

Shikhar Mahalwala

Celebrities do not exercise any special treatment as long as the law is concerned. The fact that they are famous and everyone wants to know about them makes it inevitable for the media (they want higher TRPs too) to telecast how someone escaped the law. The major loophole is the LAW itself. There are many cases including the ‘Nirbhaya Case’ in which the juvenile escaped the punishment due to weak laws. The Salman Khan verdict also shows how advocates smartly use the loopholes in the system to their unfair advantage. Many such cases go unreported. So the ‘special treatment of celebrities’ neither exists nor is the problem. The governing bodies need to revisit the laws seriously so that any person, ordinary or special, gets a fair and just decision.

Mayank Tewari

The biggest loophole in the whole system is our constitution. Many of us here might know that our constitution is something which lacks originality to its core; most of it is ‘inspired’ or even taken directly from the constitution of different countries. Although, the lawmakers’ intentions were noble, the process they undertook was naive. When you copy such things, its various faults and loopholes come with it. Now, if it were made by keeping specifically Indian society and its shortcomings in mind, we might have seen some fewer atrocities committed by our judiciary. But in an amalgamation like ours’ , it has more of loopholes and less of security checks as one size doesn’t fit all. And the lawyers are very well aware of it and try to exploit it as much as they can for their wealthy clients. Celebrities can’t escape crime, albeit money can. Money can be used to dog the judicial system for years to come. And it is done so because everyone knows, with each passing day, evidence’s credibility diminishes. Witness are either paid to change their statement or they die ‘circumstantial’ deaths. Celebrities, the famous ones, just come into limelight because of the stardom they possess- their Achilles’ heel. Everybody knows about Salman Khan’s case, but how many media channels have covered Reliance’s VP who was recently bailed on a drunk-and-drive case (4 dead) despite having 57 eye-witness against her? What’s more, this wasn’t her first such case and the judge said- ‘She is a woman, so we have to deal it differently’ (Totally stupendous thoughts here, we must feel proud of our lawyers). The biggest reason is that we as a nation need to evolve. After all, the media persons, police, lawyers and even criminals rise from amongst ourselves only. We have to stop isolating them as ‘odd one outs’ and revelling on the thought that we are not like them. They are from amongst us. Changing laws would not affect any positively till we ourselves try to do something about it.

rahulgowda

Being a Celebrity has pros and cons. Most of the Celebrities are rich, famous and influential. In our judiciary system it tries to check the authenticity of the accusation on anyone before considering other elements to prove his guilty. To do this it goes through various persons involved, situation in which it happened, mental state and alertness of the accused during that time etc..If we look into this there are lot of external factors which are considered to prove guiltiness of the accused. Being a celebrity they will have power, influence and money to act on these external factors to influence the verdict. If a celebrity is guilty of his act he can always use his power, money and influence to act on those external factors which will be considered to prove his guiltiness and influence them in such a way they make him look like innocent in front of judiciary and escape from the crime he committed. when it comes to role of Media it can act as catalysing system to spread the false accusation or hold truth of the verdict. Todays media looks at sensationalising the news so before an accused is proven guilty by the court they might start sensationalising it by showing him as almost guilty. so in case of Celebrities as they are already famous any news related to them increases there TRP specially any negative news on them brings a lot of viewership as people are curious to understand what went wrong.In these situations media will act as a catalysing system and jumps to conclusion without analysing the facts or waiting for judiciary final verdict. Media can act responsibly so that it doesn’t sensationalise the issue to make it more complicated and create unnecessary issues, they can choose to be sensible and behave responsible for the public.

Shweta Singh

If we talk about our constitutional rights,We should treat everyone equally.but the fact is that because of the stardom and fame our country treat celebrity in a very different manner rather than normal people.