Touria Prayag's Blog

Men in Black 12 December 2013

Posted in Uncategorized by touriaprayag on January 23, 2015

Whether Roshi Bhadain’s tears at the press
conference last week were genuine or crocodile
tears staged like everything else – from
the presence of his wife and daughter to the
inexplicable physical support of the Jeannots
– one thing is for sure: they are symptomatic
of the situation of the legal profession
these days. It is in a very sorry state. Lawyer
Sanjay Bhuckory, in a conference organised
by the Bar Council to refl ect on the profession,
qualifi ed this year as “an annus horribilis”
for the men in black.
Indeed, never before have we seen men and
women who are supposed to be the guarantors
of our justice make the headlines for alleged
illegal, unethical and unacceptable practices.
The people accused are, naturally, entitled to
their day in court and we have no intention of
pre-empting what our courts of justice may
decide. However, the fact remains that the
damage has already been done and that the
profession will fi nd it increasingly hard to undo
the perception – true or not – that the continuous
allegations have created. This perception
is made so much worse with the insane politicization
of issues which are purely legal.
No sooner had the nation started getting over
the shock of allegations against the attorney
general than another ex-attorney general, Rama
Valayden as well as another lawyer Rouben
Mooroongapillay started making the headlines
in connection with the Bramer Bank saga.
Then barristers started keeping our newsrooms
busy. First, Roshi Bhadain was accused by his
own client of having advised him to cheat and
lie. Then another lawyer – Mario Jeannot’s
barrister, Roubina Jadoo Jaunbocus – was accused
of acting as a go-between with politicians
with Jeannot proudly admitting that he had
himself advised her to “roule Yatin Varma dans
la farine!”(to take Yatin Varma for a ride).
Then we have a more mediatised case: that of
Ravi Rutnah, who is accused of having circulated
a video in 2012 of two people – according
to him Michaela Harte and her husband – arguing
in a hotel, insinuating that the husband may
have killed the wife following the argument.
By the time the truth had come out that the
people on the video had nothing to do with the
couple (see our cover story this week), it was
too late in the day.
All this from people who are entrusted with
making sure justice prevails!
Add to this a justice system which is far too
slow to reassure those using it that justice is
seen to be done, lawyers who use every trick in
the book to keep postponing the cases they
don’t want the men with the gavel to rule on,
other barristers who fall sick at will and miraculously
recover when convenient, some
judges who are too busy making money through
private arbitration to have their full energy
concentrated on punishing crime and you come
to the conclusion that Bhadain should not be
the only one crying. We should all join in the
tears, not for his plight but for the state of the
profession. But while shedding these tears, let’s
not forget who the real victims are. It is not the
ones who are supposed to preserve the law but
instead break it; it is not the ones who – as soon
as they are caught with their hand in the cookie
jar start using all sorts of tactics thus creating
a smoke screen and try to attract sympathy. It
is defi nitely not those who – when accused –
refuse to use the same system they are paid to
serve. The real victims are us – the users of
justice. It is us who should weep our sad bosoms
empty!

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