Thursday, February 4, 2010

Lawfully Yours

Ever wondered why decisions of one court are often overruled by the other? Or why a same court decides differently on similar case facts of cases appearing before it in different points in time? It isn't merely a question of law that judges presiding over similar cases differ on... Also coming into play are innumerable unstated factors, factors which cannot for obvious reasons be stated. Some of these legislations were intended as 'beneficial' pieces of law like the Workmen's Compensation Act so that the economically weaker section of the society wouldn't suffer in case of accident and being rendered incapacitated for work by the virtue of the very fact that they chose to serve the organization. Take for example a workman cycling to the workplace hit by the company truck dies on spot but is not covered under the Act because his accident wasn't "in the course of employment" ... Another case where a workman was't awarded compensation merely because the judge interpreted the organization wasn't covered by the Act because it had fewer employees than required by the law.. Doesn't seem all that beneficial , does it ?? Plenty of reasons/ explanations are given supporting the judgements, overruling the previous one on the premise of different case facts although on the face value the case fact don't much differ. Sometimes the court behaves too generously,some other times the judgements appear ridiculous to the workers' right activists. What we fail to understand is the ideology of the judge , the circumstances which are not explicitly stated in the law books come into play, for instance if a judge considers ruling in favour of the workman , directing the employer to pay him a sum of 3 lakh INR , what would happen to the small entrepreneur who s running a firm of 8 workers (lesser than reqd. by law) , would he be able to follow the order without going bankrupt , what would the rest of the 7 workers go for a living. It then starts making sense for the court to rule in the favour of the employer giving reasons other than those mentioned above. While giving a generous judgement, the judge could inherently consider the number of dependant the workman has and their standard of living. Such reasons can often never be made public for the basic reason that fingers would be raised on grounds of prejudice , deviating form the rules of Law.. But all the same , it must be understood , all cases depend a lot more than bare case facts or rules of Law , they are more about human compassion in dire circumstances...


  1. Very true, very true. Passionate, really. :)

  2. @Abhishek: Thanks for the compliment :) infuriation leads to passion sometimes..