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Attempted Intimidation

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What would the media, the politicians and the judiciary say about some gangster bringing along a mob when summoned for questioning by the CBI or ED? The government would be pilloried for the breakdown in law and order. And, yet, a politician facing criminal charges feels entitled to try and intimidate investigative agencies by having his followers lay siege to their offices. It’s the kind of narcissistic arrogance displayed by former US President Donald Trump when he instigated a crowd to attack Capitol Hill. Such persons suffer from the delusion that they do not need to conform to the law in the manner that the ordinary person is required to do.

If a person is innocent, as Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia claims to be in the liquor scam case, trying to influence the investigators by getting unruly crowds to create a disturbance would be counter-productive policy. People would only conclude that he is so desperate and scared that he is adopting such methods to try and escape investigation and conviction. By making the issue political as a BJP versus AAP contest only reveals that Sisodia is not above using ‘other means’ to achieve his ends. If such acts can be performed in public, one can only imagine the means used behind closed doors by him and his party.

Given the chance, politicians from every party would like to use such muscle to get out of the consequences of wrong-doing, so they cannot be expected to reform the system that allows such street level pressure on the law enforcement agencies. It is for the judiciary and public opinion to make the distinction between political demonstrations and self-serving misuse of party cadre. Those involved should collectively be made to pay heavy fines for the inconvenience they have caused to the general public through their demonstrations. The threat they pose to the life and limbs of officials performing their duty should be calculated in monetary terms and compensation sought from all those participating. Also, the investigating agencies should ensure that they are not actually doing what they are accused of – working for the ruling dispensation to intimidate the opposition. This requires high quality conduct of investigations and a convincing conviction rate. All types of people would then be more respectful of these agencies and avoid getting on their wrong side. And there would be far less empty drama.