Monday, February 27, 2006

Is the law an ass or are we?

When I used to work for a technology magazine I had done an extensive feature on gaming, the history and the future etc. There were plans to put it up on the blog but I wasn’t sure of my rights, or rather the copyright legislations. To be very frank I’m not too sure about my basic rights. I know what my fundamental rights are, in alphabets, that is. Now picture this scenario. You’re traveling on a local train and have a monthly pass. A ticket collector comes along asks for your pass. You give it to him and he tears it up and tosses it out. Then he claims that you are traveling without a ticket and demands a fine or as the norm would be, a bribe. What would you do? Can you fight? What proof do you have that you did indeed carry a pass? If it were an outstation ticket then you have a proof in the system. In case of a omputer generated ticket, your purchase would've been recorded and there is a chart at the dor that proves your reservation. But it doesn’t prove that you had the ticket with you. Daily tickets or monthly passes don’t have any immediate proof of reservation or purchase or that you are carrying it in person either.
Here’s another scenario, what happens if the police just picks you up off the street and puts you behind bars, denying you the right to call the lawyer? They give you a good spanking, slap a case of creating a nuisance against you, and try you for the same. They may do this just to hike up their arrest and conviction ratios. And the rather strong emphasis on circumstantial evidence makes it very easy for ‘them’ to snare ‘us’.
Isn’t that what happened during the emergency, can’t it happen now, doesn’t it happen rather? We’ve always heard of cases where the police are brutal and have committed various acts that don’t quite sit right with our version of safeguarding our rights, or protecting us.
And what is this funda of assembly or parliamentary privilege, the one that grants our elected legislators a certain amount of immunity against criticism?
The tome that is often called our constitution is quite a labyrinth and even 5 years of law school isn’t enough to understand every passage or circumvent every loophole.
As individuals are we really insured against the misuse of power? Does the law really protect us? Does the constitution safeguard our rights? Can these statements be recorded and used to move a contempt of court proceeding against me?The above post may give the reader an impression that I’m a paranoid rambler. But that’s not the case, nor am I elucidating my naivety as far as the law or my rights are concerned. These ideas come floating and leave traces of doubts behind.

(There is a brief post about some new gaming development on Wordpress)

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