Indian judicial system is not particularly known for timely justice. Cases take months, years and in some cases even decades to close. However, as the popular adage goes, “justice delayed is justice denied”.
Shruti Chaturvedi, the founder of Chaaipani, took to social media to express her tryst with the system. After a battle which extended for six long years, Chaturvedi decided to withdraw her harassment case.
Six years later, I got the first notice for hearing at a house where we no longer live in. In the last 6 years, I have switched 2 jobs, started my company and moved 3 cities setting up offices. My parents have moved to another city because of my father’s job.
After missing two notices because it was delivered at an address where no one lived anymore, I was informed by a phone call for the third hearing. This was April of 2019 if my memory serves me right. I was asked to appear at Ghee Kanta court in Ahmedabad in the next two days. I had moved to Goa by now.
For every hearing, I was expected to travel to Ahmedabad from my city of residence at my expense on working days, spending working hours (10 am to 6 pm, whenever you get lucky to get the case on the table). There have been 8 hearings so far, every time we were given a new date. Every hearing, I was expected to face the accused.
Fed up, I decided to close/settle the case on September 3. I confronted the perpetually unapologetic man again. My father who ceaselessly helped me through this ordeal asked me to “be nice” because any show of frustration could irk the judge or hint the accused that the trial was causing me trouble. It was heart-wrenching to see my father being “nice” and cordial with the accused and his lawyer, to make sure they do not challenge my withdrawal/settlement if we do not pay them up.
Despite the judge insisting that the crime was unpardonable and I should pursue, I had to withdraw it/tell that it is settled, because it didn’t look worth all the effort it takes anymore. I recall when the first call I received about the hearing after 6 years, I didn’t even remember the name of the accused. It will forever be etched in my memory how the accused had the balls to look me right in the eyes and tell me multiple times “kaik jarur hoye toh dukaan par aavjo” (if you need anything, come to the shop) after the last hearing was closed.
Why did this man do this? Because my friend refused to buy earrings from his stall.
6 years later, I got the first notice for hearing at a house where we no longer live in. In last 6 years, I have switched 2 jobs, started my company and moved 3 cities setting up offices.
— Shruti Chaturvedi (@adhicutting) September 3, 2019
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