18 January 2021
CONTEMPT OF TRUTH
When watching a Tamil TV serial episode in which I identified with the pain of an adopted son who was being chased away by a biological son I connected to my own experience with my sisters in law. My husband blamed the lawyer. That lawyer did in that court complain to the judge that I was acting in contempt of Court by sharing my Court experience as it happened. The judge asked our lawyer to discipline me. Our lawyer did not and I took it that he did not FEEL that I had acted in contempt. An excerpt from Chapter 29 of ‘Naan Australian’ is in the Appendix.
This account confirms that I ‘disciplined’ the lawyers on the basis of my truth being rubbished in Court. Due to his attachment to his sisters, my husband could not identify with the connection between his sisters’ actions and the lawyers’ claims in court. To my mind, once a matter comes to court largely due to dispute between the parties concerned we have to structure our thinking according to the language of the law – as per our level of understanding. We need to also ‘discipline’ our lawyers if they elevate the presentation frivolously.
I did express genuine appreciation for judgments that I identified with as per my interpretation of the law and I also highlighted the judgments I could not identify with. But I did not do so in the Courthouse because that to me would have been disrespectful of the Common position of Judge. It is a kind of respect paid to the governing power in that Court. But outside the court – the Public are the governing power in democracy. The Public are taken as being Equal to the Judiciary as law is Equal to fact, in terms of importance.
Yesterday’s Island editorial ‘Contempt then and now’ begins as follows:
[Dr. Asanga Welikala, legal academic and constitutional lawyer, has gone on record saying that while imprisonment over contempt of court is legal, it is increasingly seen as inappropriate and disproportionate. This observation has been made in the context of the jailing last week of Parliamentarian and film star Ranjan Ramanayake to four years rigorous imprisonment on contempt charges. Thanks to television, the country was able to see the actor, screaming and shouting that he had neither robbed, killed nor engaged in drug trafficking and will not apologize, being dragged into a prison vehicle to be taken away to serve his term. He was clearly playing to the cameras as he would have on a film set and put up quite a show.]
The level of appropriateness depends on the commitment of Public to the law. Mr Ranjan Ramanayake is a lawmaker and hence needed to believe that he was right when making or repealing a law. That belief will travel down to citizen of lowest status who believes in him. It is therefore the demonstrated disorder that would travel down to his electorate and others who consider him to be a leader.
Within the Courts – judges have Judicial Immunity – which is the parallel of Parliamentary immunity.
The avenues available to politicians to effectively set aside unjust judgments is through the pardoning system. What about the person without such influence? If they submit to their belief in the Judicial system – it eventually upholds justice. In the meantime we need to not react and take the law into our hands. Politicians often tend to profit from such experiences.
When Mrs Vijayakala Maheswaran invoked the LTTE in 2018, Mr Ramanayake ‘advised’ her; recorded their conversation and published it. As a fellow politician he did not confidentially ‘advise’ her but rather profited from her mistake and ‘told her’. If Mrs Vijayakala Maheswaran and/or her supporters had submitted any pain from the above ‘top down’ approach to the system of Natural Justice through any form of their belief – it would have found its way to the judiciary also. That is how the universal system of Karma works.
We are not always able to ‘correct’ mistakes through the official systems in our environments. But when we believe and submit to the appropriate authority in that environment – the return happens exponentially. The believer would know whether it is appropriate or not.
The public rarely discipline their side lawyers and eventually their selfishness also corrupts the system. When what happened is elevated without belief but is claimed as ‘fact’ by lawyers of high status, it amounts to ‘contempt of Truth’. These are eventually taken care of by the Universal system of Natural Justice that is self-balancing. All of us have access to it through our belief.
[The above question by Mr. Yogendra, the lawyer for the Petitioners – Mr. & Mrs Mahadevan was preceded by the question ‘What are you going to do with this money that you are after?’ …… I was effectively ‘dismissed’ after the above question by Mr. Yogendra and my response to it. I looked at our lawyer and he signaled that I could step down. I stepped down, wore my shoes and picked up the file of documents including the exhibits which were effectively dismissed by all that bullying under the leadership of Mr. Yogendra fully endorsed by the Judge. I carried that document file in my hand but this time the clerk said for me to handover all the documents needed to the lawyer. I looked at our lawyer and he said to leave the file on the bar table. No documents were used in that Court. But they were already in the Court of Natural Justice as per my true intentions.
As I picked up my file I said to our lawyer ‘I am really disappointed with you.’ At that moment Mr. Yogendra who was standing next to our lawyer – at the head of the bar-table also looked in my direction – and I said to him in Tamil ‘na[f viAl maT ;lfAl’ / ‘I am not a prostitute’. So saying, I walked towards the Public end of the Court. Then I heard our first lawyer Mr. Nadarajah say to me that I was being summoned. I turned around and walked back to the witness box and removed my shoes. But I did not get on to the box because no one asked me to. Then the Judge asked me in a stern voice ‘;T '[f[ ;dmf?/ What is this place?’ I was confused. I was wondering whether the Judge was referring to me not being accepted as a Ceylon Tamil??? I did say ~mamf instead of Omf in Tamil, when giving evidence. My mother spoke Indian Tamil as she was born and brought up in Burma. I was wondering whether I was showing signs of my mother through my Indian Tamil for the word Yes. ~mamf is Indian for Yes. Omf is Ceylon Tamil.
Besides, Swami Sathya Sai Baba came in my early morning meditation and blessed me. Given that Swami was Indian – I may have brought that pronunciation during the court session. All this was running fast in my mind when the Judge said ‘;T nIti m[fbmf. cnftil kAtkfkibmatiri kAtkfk PdaT ']fD etriyata? pdicfc ']fD ecalfli nirvak `tikarmf EkdfdidfD ;pfp `TkfKriy tKti ;lfl ']fD kadfdiyacfC. ecalfLl ecalfbtvid ndtfEtlfl kadfdibT Mkfkiymf.’ (This is Court house – Don’t you know that you should not show street behavior here in Court? You claim to be educated and sought Administrative authority. But now through your conduct you have proven that you do not deserve that. It’s not good enough to say in words. More importantly your conduct must confirm your claim)
I looked blankly at the Judge for the first part of the above outburst by the Judge. Then the penny dropped – that somehow the Judge had got knowledge of my statement to Mr. Yogendra. It’s often mind reading.
So – on top of being effectively labeled as a prostitute and a cheat – I was now being accused of street behavior. I just stared at the Judge. The woman in me broke down and cried – silently inside. It really was too much at this point for that soft woman within.
Then our lawyer spoke out and said to the Judge ‘I apologize on her behalf but her behavior is understandable given that her second marriage was brought before this court again.’ The Judge immediately showed a smiling face to the lawyer and explained that it was not given consideration. Our lawyer then said to me ‘You better apologize’ . I looked him straight in the eye said ‘No I won’t. I spoke the Truth. I have no reason to apologize for.’
No one said anything for a few moments and I took my file again – this time from the floor and my bag next to it, wore my shoes and walked away. At the other end of the bar table I bowed to the Judge’s chair – where my real Lord was seated as per my mind to the extent I spoke the Truth relevant to honor my dead relative, and walked out of the Court room. ]