Bengaluru: India is a thriving democracy. It runs on the principle of fairness, equality and justice. 

But in the last few months, there are certain elements that are playing havoc. Throwing all norms of justness to the dustbin, they have placed a few on the pedestal, as if to suggest they are not bound by the law of the land. 

Take for example, the arrest of Umar Khalid, an accused in the Delhi riots. 

The moment he was arrested, a few self-proclaimed intellectuals unleashed themselves, with their usual rant that democracy was under threat as he was targeted. 

Now, former judges have come out in the open, criticising the behaviour of these elements. 

Their statement read: "A new premise is espoused wherein some allegedly disruptive elements are being put on a pedestal which assumes above the law of the land, amidst the chorus of anarchy staged by the same supporting group patting those who stand for the disintegration of India.” 

"Freedom of expression does not include any freedom to instigate, participate or conspire to commit any crime. Freedom also does not give amnesty from legal consequences of criminality. National integration cannot be sacrificed at the altar of wishfully dis-integrative romanticism of the misguided elements. Law must take its own course. Umar Khalid is not an exception to the Rule of Law in India," they added.

The former judged also lamented theory that institutions were under threat. 

"They seem to suffer from a wishful thinking that all the Constitutional institutions as well as the executive authorities created by the law must function in accordance with their whims and fancy, which clearly portray their inherent lack of respect for India, and what it stands for,” they added. 

The most robust part of their observations is the importance they put on the judiciary. 
"In case of interrogation of Mr Umar Khalid, they need to understand and appreciate that ultimately, it is the judiciary of the country where the allegations will have to be proved by the prosecution on the basis of evidence collected during investigation, which may include custodial investigation in certain cases," they added.

"If an accused has to seek bail, there are well settled procedures for that, which does not include any third party trying to pressurise and browbeat the legal systems through irresponsible statements in the media," they further said.

Such statements by former judges makes us believe that the sanctity of institutions is not compromised with. At the same time, it is reiteration that Umar Khalid is no above the law and there are sane souls who will take up the cudgels at the opportune time.