“Ayodhya dispute: A small piece of land where angels fear to tread.”
“The Mathura Rape Case: Attacked at a rural police station.”
“Aarushi Murder Case: Parents tried to influence doctor, says CBI.”
“Women killed her family and then committed suicide.”
Haven’t these case headlines caught your attention? The answer is too obvious to be stated. Whether you read a newspaper or not, you know these are the cases that took the nation by storm. Every hearing and verdict was awaited for such cases.
No wonder, it takes years of investigation and watchfulness to solve such cases, but was the judgment passed worth the wait? Could these cases have a different ending? These questions still stir the curious side of people and grab their attention.
The different cases of murder, rape, dowry, scam, etc., brings out some stories and judgments that will make you stand up and applaud while some may disappoint you. The Indian Judicial System is said to be a chest of treasure for interesting case studies. Here are five of the most significant and powerful cases that will be a treat to savour for every law student and enthusiast.
- The Priyadarshini Mattoo Case: Power over Decorum
January 23, 1996, she was found dead. But before that, she tried every possible way to live peacefully and with respect.
Priyadarshini Mattoo was a law student who was raped and killed at her uncle’s residence in Vasant Kunj, Delhi. Why? Because she raised a voice against harassment.
Her senior, Santosh Kumar Singh stalked and harassed her for years. She lodged a number of complaints of persecution, threats and pestering against the accused but being the son of an influential IPS officer; he easily made his way through every allegation.
Soon after, it was revealed that Santosh raped her and then murdered her by wrapping an electric wire around her neck. He also clouted her face over and over with a helmet that made her face unidentifiable.
The Delhi high court on October 30, 2006 sentenced him to death which was later transmuted into life imprisonment by the Supreme Court.
- Satyam Scam: Greed over Morals
Termed as one of the catastrophes of the Indian Financial System, this scam gave the stock market chills in the spine. Moreover, it turned the world upside down for the shareholders and investors of the company who invested around 14,000 crore Rupees, as reported in an article by ‘Hindustan Times.’
The owner of Satyam Computer Services, a leading IT company, Ramalinga Raju crushed every shareholder’s belief and trust to fulfil his dreams. What dreams? Land acquisition. He had an obsession with getting hold of land and the more land he acquired, the more greedy he became.
What did he do?
He manipulated the accounts so that the enterprise appeared larger than it was. To accomplish this, Raju, his two brothers and seven others seamed up deals with conjured clients and had large teams working on these made-up projects.
Why did he confess his crime?
On 7th January 2009, Ramalinga Raju, Satyam’s chairman resigned from his post, owing up to the fact that he manipulated accounts and cheated with the investors. Raju would not have done this if the recessionary forces hadn’t hit the Indian shores in 2008. Downturn tossed the chairman off guard and closed all his options.
Judgment: Seven years of rigorous imprisonment to Raju and nine others.
- The Jessica Lal Murder: Liquor over Life
She was signing off from work, ready to go home but her job responsibilities made her stand up. One refusal and she was on the gun point. Next moment, she was laying on the ground – Dead.
Jessica was an aspiring model, who was functioning as a barmaid at a socialite party at the Tamarind Court restaurant in south Delhi’s Mehrauli. On April 30, 1999, Manu Sharma, the son of Union Minister Venod Sharma shot her after she refused to serve him liquor.
The murder depicts the brutal side of power.
The case kept storming the news and the headlines hit the papers long after the slaughter when Manu was set free in February 2006. Following a countrywide public disagreement, the case was dealt by Delhi high court through a fast-track trial that ended in his commitment on murder charges. He was sentenced to life imprisonment in the case.
- K.M. Nanavati Case: Confession over Crime
“Will you marry her?” he asked.
“No” replied Prem Ahuja.
Nanavati shot him dead.
This case is an amalgamation of love, betrayal, honesty and empathy.
K.M. Nanavati was a patriotic naval officer, residing in Mumbai with his dear wife, Sylvia and their two children. As his duty demanded him to be away from his family for long periods of time, his wife fell in love with his friend Prem Ahuja. Sylvia wanted to marry Ahuja, but he refused. Hysterical by the denial, she confessed about the affair to Nanavati when he returned.
Enraged, he went to Ahuja’s flat to confront him and asking whether he would marry Sylvia and take in his children. He refused. Nanavati shot him.
A jury trial was set up to decide whether it was a crime of passion or premeditated murder to which Nanavati was found ‘not guilty’, 8-1. It was barely an open-and-shut case, but the plot of the crime earned media attention.
P.S: This case was the last time there was a jury trial in India and following this case, the jury trial was abolished. The Akshay Kumar starrer ‘Rustam’ is a thriller flick adapted from this case.
- Lal Bihari Identity Case: Determination over Corruption
If you want to understand corruption in the government offices of India, this case is surely the one to look at. It highlights how a living person can be announced dead and can be made a source of entertainment by the society. Regardless of him standing in the Lekhpal office in person, the officer didn’t pay a heed to rectify the gaffe.
After 18 years of thrash and efforts, he could manage to be declared alive by the district magistrate of Azamgarh. Bihari not only got his identity back, but he also succeeded in winning his land and property.
These cases mentioned above will not only accentuate your knowledge about law but will also tell you the goof ups that happened during the investigations and hearings. Some cases here may have introduced you to the sad encounters but impeccable lessons.
Words for those who are thinking of taking up the L.L.B. course, “You are about to experience the whole new world of ifs and buts.”