Jasleen Kaur: Guilty Until Proven Innocent Or Innocent Until Proven Guilty – Open Debate

Jasleen Kaur case: The Debate!

We have all seen enough number of shares, newspaper articles, deliberations about this case. We have seen people who have been staunch supporters of this case and we have seen people who have identified the political angle to the case. There have been feminists who have taken it as a personal issue and see to it that ‘Justice’ is meted out. And as we look at all these proceedings, we just ask this one question today as we open a debate on this Jasleen Kaur Issue. The question is straight forward

Innocent until proven guilty or guilty until proven innocent?

In this post, we try to play the devils advocate by debating both sides of the coin and let you take a judgement call on this. The reason why we are talking about the Jasleen Kaur case as an issue is that it has long standing effects, especially when it comes to sexual harassment and eve teasing

Question: What really happened?

No one seems to have a clue about this! There have been two variations of thoughts on this issue

Story 1: This says that the boy allegedly made lewd remarks on the girl. When the girl threatened that she would file a case against him and he didn’t seem to bother about it. She later clicks a picture and it becomes a huge issue as it sees multiple shares on FB and the boy is arrested. He loses his job and he is thrashed in all media and I am sure the public too because most of us are happy to label something good or bad and close the issue behind us. We don’t really understand where the rage comes from, especially when the rage is to jump to conclusion on someone whether he is right or wrong.

Story 2: This story takes the side of the boy. Apparently there is no proof of him eve teasing the girl. The issue was a minor spat at the traffic signal which was in no way related to sexuality and it was made a sexual harassment case just to gain public sympathy. There have been a few deliberations that have said that the girl had political connections and was trying to get to AAP and this might have been ‘The Thing’ to propel her to the political game. From the looks of it, even this story seems to hold some water since there is no proof at all except for a photograph. Playing the devils advocate, he might have even posed for a photo just because he was asked to!

Which Is The True Story?

Now, as we know the two angles of the stories, it is really hard to know what is right or what is wrong. And it seems impossible to know what really happened since the whole issue us so well mired in controversy with the media taking two different sides. The feminists have found an opening and some have raked the issue of how male centric the society is and how such culprits should be treated without any mercy. Is this also a political cry for attention from the ‘Feminists’ (Here we use the word feminists in the context of someone trying to pretend to be one for their political gain and we mean no disrespect to feminists and actually admire their philosophy)

The ‘Innocent Male’ supporters have come to the front and started thrashing the girl on media like Facebook and the issue is spiralling everywhere. They raise an issue and ask questions as to why she is not being seen in the media or why her Facebook account was deleted after another angle for the story opened up?!

Looks like we are not going to find any answers for that right away. But we do have a few important questions to ask

  1. Since when is Facebook the mode of complaints? Why did the police arrest this man based on a Facebook proof? What was the reason behind his arrest and how is that justified?
  2. How is a photograph of a man sitting on his bike a proof? I am playing the devils advocate here. Isn’t this an issue for the courts to decide? We may say that the courts take time, but I will argue saying that the courts will not jump to decisions without any proofs and a photograph like this is never going to be accepted as a proof!
  3. Why did the guy lose his job? Why was everyone so quick to make a judgement on his character? Is it because we feel more sympathetic to the girl and that she can never be lying? Why was the assumption that this guy was the bad one?
  4. The girl was rewarded for her ‘Bravery’. If the entire issue was real, I would certainly commend her for standing to her rights. But the whole issue is mired with a doubt that she was doing it for a political gain which we will find very difficult to forgive.

With all these deliberations in mind, we leave you with one question – What is the purpose and statement of the law?

Is someone guilty until proven innocent?ย 

If that is the case anyone can file a complaint against you and me and say that we have done something horrible. They don’t even need a proof for that. All they need is a photograph of you or me and we don’t even have to do anything in that photograph. And that photograph can even be downloaded from internet and we may go to jail just because someone gave a complaint and we have to prove that we are innocent. Isn’t it a shame that a person will have to prove his innocence?

Isn’t it a shame that someone is labelled guilty without a single shred of evidence and sensitivity about what his life is going to be because of that?

Isn’t the law of primary importance? Why is everything else taking a bigger role here?

Well, these are our questions for this debate. Do let us know your thoughts and stay tuned in for more such discussions.

Do join us for more such updates,

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

20 Responses to "Jasleen Kaur: Guilty Until Proven Innocent Or Innocent Until Proven Guilty – Open Debate"

    1. True Indrani. What puzzles me the most is how far we are getting away from the truth and who is really to blame here. Is it the guy or the girl or the media who blew it completely out of proportion or the police who acted on an irrelevant photograph as a proof. It really makes me wonder how easy it is to play fool of the legal system and fills me with pain that the entire system which has to be at the highest regard is ignored to such an extent

  1. I was seriously waiting to hear your views on this issue Vinay. Nicely written, though my opinion, in this case, is a bit different, I neither supported any of the two, as certainly both of them sounds genuine in such case. My saying is without any proof how can someone say that either he or she is saying right? So if you don’t know the real story, then what is the point in spreading posts in social media? This is seriously becoming a trend that something of this sort came into your eye and without checking if it is right or wrong you just decide to share it among your social media followers, and since many people are actually following you (Vinay am not saying you in this case ๐Ÿ™‚ ), so they thought that since you are sharing something, it should be genuine only. Or the similar chain too started following.

    My concern is how can you identify who is the culprit in any such case? With some cases there are some proofs which can clearly say what is right or what is wrong, but in such types of cases it is hard to get any such proof. If you go by the eye-witnesses statement, you will consider that the girl Jasveer is using this incident for her publicity. On the other hand you cannot even say if the eye-witness is absolutely right too.

    Whoever is true in this case, but Media is on a fault in this case. Be it Print Media, TV Channels, or Social Media too, they should not become the judge of such incidents. I am not saying that they should not judge some incident, but they don’t have any right to give verdict to others.

    1. Thanks Alok. It was a topic on my mind for the last couple of days and finally managed to make a decent post on it :). It was kind of an irritating set of events that the incident has unfolded into. It seemed like a publicity stunt. It kinda reminded me of the letter from Shenaz Treasurywala a couple of months ago which played as a marketing stunt for her movie. I didnt like how things added together to give that image. Even in this case, I don’t like the political link to an issue which is a social one and of a prime importance. It makes me wonder if these people make a joke of the system by playing the media and the social platforms, then where is sensitivity and morality headed?

      At the outset I would blame the media too a bit but lets not mistake – an action was taken based on the complaint filed by the girl without a proper enquiry and proof. I think a larger issue here is the violation of rights. I mean if the guy is really innocent, then he might be considering pressing charges just going by his rights. Who is he going to complain against – He can’t do that with the press cos the press has already issued an apology, it cannot be defamation. But of course the courts can jump in and say it is a frivolous complaint and punish her for the same. But what about the authorities who took action on him because of that. Why did he have to visit the jail if he had not committed any crime and there was not sufficient proof for that. Why did he have to lose a job on an allegation.

      I am appalled by the way everyone was played here. I mean if someone decides to make media their puppet just through a social platform like FB, then isn’t it an alarming situation where we are headed towards a bit of anarchy? Isn’t it something which should really freak us out. Of course the media is at fault here cos it did not have the right to jump to a conclusion without sufficient proof. But what about the authorities who took action based on that. What about the girl who filed a false complaint if that indeed was a false one. What if this entire issue was just a clash of egos between the two and the whole media and authorities were toyed with? Isn’t that a shocking aspect?

    1. Thank you Maitreni :). It sure is a hot topic and for me it was hurting a bit knowing that the legal system was made such fun of. I mean it is THE PRIMARY thing in the country and I was appalled by the fact that an action was taken on a seemingly irrelevant photograph which didn’t seem to have any bearing on the issue. How can a man be arrested based on a FB post going viral? What gives anyone that right? Why was this entire thing blown out of proportion.. So many unanswered questions..

  2. Maniparna Sengupta Majumder · Edit

    I shared the post of Jasleen Kaur as it looked quite credible to me at the first glance. Even I’ve experienced such things a number of times. Lewd comments and, a ‘don’t care’ attitude of the perpetrators. So, when I saw her posting a thing like this, I could relate to it at once. It’s not like I’m giving a verdict or something, but all I wanted to show some solidarity to her. Sharing is a prominent feature of social media and people every day share millions of things on their walls which they think are pertinent enough. So why not help the girl with a share- that’s what I thought. But now it seems the incident is a far-fetched one with so many perspectives coming up! I wonder if people keep on misusing the power of social media in this way, actual cases will lose their relevance in future and, no one would dare to share anything.

    You’ve raised a very relevant question here the answer to which is not at all simple and vary from person to person… ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. At the first instance Maniparna, to be very honest even I appreciated the girl that she stood her ground on what appeared to be a violation of her rights. But then I was quite surprised that action was taken against him based on that photograph as a proof. It kept me wondering whether it was just bullying of the legal system just cos someone could. I am not really sure who is right or wrong here, but I wonder on the grounds of action taken against him. I worry about the further implications of an incident like this, if the girl is false then no one is going to believe a true case when or if something like this really happens. Just for the selfish petty fight of a stupid girl, a real case has to suffer? – That is really not done at all!!

      It feels really sad that everything is being taken for granted so easily and the bullies seem to have their way. And this case seems like bullying just cos the girl could – that is if she has registered a false complaint.

  3. Desh and I were having a huge debate on this one… but there are mixed feelings… perhaps we’ll write something on it too…
    But Vinay – something like this was long overdue, given that practically no justice has been meted out in Jyoti Singh’s case…

    1. That will be an interesting read Archana. Please do share it here when you write, I am sure my readers would love your perspective. The whole issue puts me at such a doubt Archana – whom to believe and whom not to and how much of a media report should we believe in, what we should neglect. Sheesh, it really feels awful to be at this stage of distrust!

  4. big thanks to zee tv a witness has come forward in support of a boy its highly probable the girl is at fault,the elderly witness even told that the girl was spewing filthy language unlike her composed interviews…no eye witness has supported the girl yet..the girl is playing on girl card to settle apparently a minor altercation

    1. True Pradeep. I do see a point why the media came in support of the girl in the initial stages. Maybe cos this seemed as a regular occurrence of eve teasing and the media felt really good that someone actually stood their ground and hoped that she would be the start of a revolution. But looking from this angle now creates a sense of distrust and irritation which makes me wonder what is right or wrong. Gosh! It is such a shame that we are supposed to doubt the very essence what the fourth estate is putting in front of us.

  5. kind of funny. Today in the morning I saw she was trying to ignore TV channels when they questioned him. Why did not she first go to the Police and instead used FB. This is one reason why Mr. Zuckerberg is happily making his bank account fat and claiming one in seven people on the planet used Facebook. Its Crazy

    1. He he, it is like a funny tale unfolding. Probably it turns out that fooling a whole country of people is not as easy as she thought it would be. Well, it is funny to see what people do for a little attention and their own personal gains. It is a matter beyond shame. It kinda gives a horrible feeling about public relations and self promotions.. ๐Ÿ™

  6. Vinay, both sides of the story are possible. While I don’t appreciate the hype around it – award and the arrest based on FB post, and subsequent allegation on Jasleen, but having grown up and lived in Delhi for a considerably long time, I know for sure that such incidents (as cited by Jasleen) are very very likely. Such remarks are commonplace, however vulgar they sound and people deal with these with a chalta hai attitude. How on earth do you know that the eye witness is not lying?

    1. True Somali. I too lived in Delhi for about a year and I hear what you are talking about it. Such cases are really very possible and the eve teasing issue seems to be on an all time rise. I think perhaps that is the reason why all the media channels and the police jumped in to take action on that guy. It was unfortunate that it all happened or appears to happen for a public stunt. What worries me is that just cos of a couple of frivolous cases like these, it is very easy to put away the genuine ones. It is like the girl who cried wolf and no one really comes to rescue when the real wolf is around. The harassment is a huge issue and we need to find solutions for that. Maybe citizen assertiveness can be a good start on this front.

  7. sorry but Ilost interest after the first paragraph. one can guess what happened. It was not sexual harassment but rude and intimidating behaviour towards a girl in public. the boyreacted aggressively when she asked him not to go through the red light. He was rude and crass, she did not take it lightly and reported the matter to the police with his photo proof.
    She proceeded to put his photo on FB to shame him as he had done to her in public.Normally in such cases nothing happens and the cops give a warning and allow the offender to go but this boy has lost face on the social media. politicians and public alike have come in support of the girl and later more people have come in sp of the boy. both seem to have lost credibility but boys and girls need to act more maturely now that they will have to interact more and more as women come out of their houses to earn a living and become financially independent like their male counterparts

    1. Hi Uday, its a shame you didnt read through the entire thing. I guess we have highlighted pretty much the same points and debated the possibilities as well. I think you would have noticed if you had read the post that we are not debating what happened and who is wrong. We are debating the role of social media, the way something seemingly irrelevant was considered a proof and its further implications.

      I agree with your second point. I think more than the financial aspect or the freedom aspect, it is really important to note that we live in an egalitarian society and oppression doesn’t stand anymore. Even if there is oppression in the smallest sense, it doesn’t pay in the society anymore and that is the morale and logic we want to portray for we are looking at making our world and our environment a slightly better place.


We'd love to hear your thoughts below..