September 7, 2006

In Praise Of A Citizen- Bina Ramani (Updated)

Filed under: India n Me,Most Read,Of men women and Eunuchs,opinions — Kaveeta Oberoi Kaul @ 3:43 pm
Tags: , ,


I recently met Bina at a social do.  She turned out quite different from what this write up seemed to convey. Anyway..apparently she had read this piece and so had her husband George Mailhot, who I guessed may have left the comment, as posted below. She confirmed that it was him…

so the worst is over for her and the Lalls. Manu Sharma has been indicted.
Update: 16th Sept..Bina Ramani has been granted bail for a surety of Rs. 2 lakhs, in the forgery case. This cannot be considered a reprieve in the light of the impending arrest for, believe -it-or-not , turning ‘accused’ in the Jessica Lall murder case. Tampering of evidence,(cleaning up the blood stains on the floor of the murder site), allegedly as cause, seven years later , in the attempt to indict her. After all she had been outspoken about her determination to ensure her role in justice for Jessica..she had to be punished .

One of the oldest tricks in the books of ingenuous lawyers is to weaken the credibility of witnesses, systematically and conscientiously. “Stigmatisation’ efforts are on in full swing. A woman restaurateur, running a club where liquor is served, rubbing shoulders with the glitterati , leading a high profile life, was suspect and a soft target of neanderthal mind sets. Coupled with the unique distinction of being the only eye witness who chose to fight for the cause of justice, she has invited the wrath of the system , culprits, and the fringe players. It is rumored that soon her husband and daughter will be embroiled in the circus as well. Strike at the roots..evidence has to destroyed..what better way than attempting to break the spirit of a woman, tricking her into neck high dump of legal tangles, choking her with administrative innuendoes, in the hope that she will un-steel her resolve.

Diverting the core case from its original intention, that of nailing the culprit Manu Sharma, the powers who be seem to be in cahouts with anyone and everyone who subscribes to the notion that justice is merely a plaything. All thats required is a devious can then get away with murder..literally.

Do we only have public participation campaigns for the dead?? No vigils, sms drives, statements of outrage at this blatant flouting of witness rights , while taking convenient refuge in laws and its lacunae??

The glimmer of hope at the re-trial of the case post public disaaaroval, is being washed away under the wave of doubt at the purposeful derailing of wheels of justice.


Update: 11th Sept.. Not entirely certain..but perhaps Bina’s husband, the remarkable Mr George Mailhot has left a comments.


Update: The Patiala Court today remanded Bina Ramani to four days judicial custody. Rishi Malhotra a legal expert who spoke to India tv host Rajat Sharma, averred that Bina should challenge her arrest in a higher court. She was arrested after sunset in Goa which is in total violation of the law which states that a woman can only be arrested in such circumstances in cases of extreme urgency and after permission from a judicial magistrate. Nothing of the kind happened with Bina.

She was brought to Mumbai as if she was a hardened criminal..victimised, targetted and punished for being the sole eye witness willing to indict the culprit. Bina fainted in the court while the proceedings were on. Her husband waited alone outside, a lone figure, grey bearded, harassed and indeed a pathetic sight.

So much for not opting to run away from the country despite having a visa fully functional and valid. It has demoralised millions of viewers like me to see what it means to be a law abiding citizen in our country. It has shockingly reminded me that justice is not the bounden right of the citizen of India, but a plaything in the hands of those adept at exploiting, twisting, corroding its sanctity..for a price. Justice is on SALE.

Shame on the lawyers who exploit every loophole, the moneyed vendors of crime who openly prove time and again..”Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely”

Bina Ramani, the key witness in the Jessica Lall murder case, was arrested in Goa after a non-bailable warrant was issued against her by a Delhi court. It is pertinent to note here that Bina had stood by her statement indicting Manu Sharma of Jessicas murder in her restaurant “Tamarind Court”.

Dna reports:

Ramani, on her part, has accused the Delhi Police of cooking up charges against her to keep her and her family, all key witnesses to the murder, away from the case, which has hit the headlines after the acquittal of all the accused.

“The case was seven years old for which we have already paid the penalty,” she had said reacting to the issuance of warrant against her.

“We are key witnesses in the case. They are trying to eliminate us by raking up this dead issue.

“Yes, we did not have a license to serve liquor when the murder took place but we have already paid the price for that,” Ramani had said.


That no stone is being left unturned in an effort to subvert justice, by pressurising Bina, is plainly evident. When the accused happens to be the scion of a ruling party, media glare, public outrage, judicial procedures are not worthwhile enough considerations to bother with.



What this will translate in terms of witness loyalty in future cases is anybodys guess. The blatant manipulation of laws was a bad enough phenomenon that had been the bane of this case. What is worse is the unchecked almost mocking attitude of the guilty and his cronies. One can almost imagine the wily satisfaction on achieving yet another step forward in undermining justice and blatantly flouting lacunae in the law as if handed over on a platter.


Is this going to be yet another case of muscle and money power dictating terms to the judiciary, while the citizens wait with bated breath ?


It behooves the government to initiate measures for witness protection, especially at a time when ‘disappearance’ of key witnesses is a reality. Contrarily, here comes an example of ‘witness harasssment’!! Just what is the agenda of police/governmental officials?



Seven years is a long enough period for a witness to put up a brave fight, in the face of odds stacked against her. To crumble under pressure and relent would have been the easiest escape route, probably adopted by a number of witnesses in this case or other such. One should applaud her tenacity and integrity in not willing to even consider giving up or backing off an opton .



She deserves to be looked upon as a role model,who has raised the bar for citizen initiative in securing justice. Its not enough to condemn criminals, equally imperative is the need to encourage strength and fortitude. Especially ( or should it have been -despite) being a woman!


Cross Linked at IndianPad








  1. im back! n wil stick around./

    Comment by Samridhi Shukla — September 7, 2006 @ 5:24 pm | Reply

  2. creditable…no doubt…going out on a limb against powerful forces…but I saw her crying on a T.V. programme…is it WORTH IT??

    Comment by anonymous — September 7, 2006 @ 7:02 pm | Reply

  3. Hey Samridhi! sooo good to see you back:)

    @ Anonymous

    It must definitely be worth it for her if she is sticking to her guns. Nobodys denying the travails, therefore kudos to her for not buckling underneath it all. One can envisage the nightmare, to be on tenterhooks, not knowing what the opposite party is up to next, but continuing to wage the war for the sake of justice to a departed soul. She nees to be told that she is being appreciated..if that is any compensation for her predicament.

    Comment by kaveetaakaul — September 7, 2006 @ 7:52 pm | Reply

  4. Look vots happening in ones willing to come forward to testify against the abvp members.the single chowkidar who saw the whole episode was threatened by the police and almost beaten.
    If the son of professor sabherwal had not taken matters to the highest people outside ujjain, this would have been buried for lack of evidence..
    its so frustrating even to think that we have to live and bear this kind of injustice.
    Bina ramani is a brave n daring woman.

    Comment by dilip — September 7, 2006 @ 8:35 pm | Reply

  5. You have an honest and sincere voice.Ma’am. Not to miss the warm heart. I have been reading here since March.

    Carry on..lage raho

    Comment by doublebarrel — September 8, 2006 @ 9:55 am | Reply

  6. You are very kind double barrel. Comments such as these keep one going:)

    Comment by kaveetaakaul — September 8, 2006 @ 8:55 pm | Reply

  7. Jessica must be sending Bini lots of courage and strength!!

    I cannot help but admire Bindi for her unrelentless pursuit for justice for Jessica!!

    Under the umbrella of witness protection; she is left to be rained-upon…

    Unbelievable, how India protects their criminals, and criminalize, their hard-working citizens.

    Dear Bindi, may all the power and strength in the universe, be at your ready… much love, is felt for you and your family–for your courage, to stay the course–to offer Jessica and her family—justified peace.


    Comment by North — September 10, 2006 @ 6:57 pm | Reply

  8. Ooh, so very sorry for the name-typo’s!!(blush) Sorry Bina!!

    Comment by North — September 10, 2006 @ 6:59 pm | Reply

  9. You have captured the essence of this case.

    Comment by The Pathetic Figure — September 11, 2006 @ 6:35 am | Reply

  10. Congratulations on expressing the essence of this case.

    Comment by The Pathetic Figure — September 11, 2006 @ 6:37 am | Reply

  11. @ North,,thanks for the warm response.What really disturbs is the fear that this will be perceived as a major deterrent for future witness participation. We are all agog in the media putting up citizen voices, vigils, urging, egging on for citizen interest. At the end of the day if all that is left to see is this victimisation. it does not bode well..Soon we will have gas bags a plenty, but when it boils down to going out on a limb, there will be no backers.. only cringers.

    @ The Pathetic Figure,

    Are you by any chance Mr. George Mailhot, Binas husband?? Just wondering since I had used these words to describe you when I saw the clipping on T.V. If you are,then your words are heartening and hold special meaning. If I have succeeded in skirting even the tip of the iceberg as far as the turmoil and strife both of you have stoically been facing, if it has managed to strike a chord with you, I feel fulfilled. You both deserve to be commended, lauded and congratulated.. I wanted to put a picture of yours on the blog, but was unable to locate one on the net. You have played a major role unarguably in providing her with necessary support, comfort and strength. Your efforts need to be highlighted and lauded as much.Its not often that one reads of stories as that of yours and Binas. Lets hope your relentless and unprecedented pursuit for Justice meets with glorious success.

    If you are not Mr. Mailhot, even so ..Thanks a ton..not one to begrudge a compliment would suggest that you keep em coming:) But on a serious note.. The outrage was so overpowering, it led to an outpouring. Hope it is an easier journey further down for her. She does not deserve to be treated so. By writing about it, I have only attempted to create a ripple..perhaps just even a drop in the ocean..Nevertheless,…

    Comment by kaveetaakaul — September 11, 2006 @ 2:13 pm | Reply

  12. i read somewhere that she is also a cancer patient and also diabetic.Even on medical grounds she could have avoided the hassle..

    Comment by puja — September 12, 2006 @ 11:12 pm | Reply

  13. true..puja

    Comment by kaveetaakaul — September 13, 2006 @ 3:57 pm | Reply

  14. Kaveetaa, I completely agree. It can certainly detour any community ralying in support of this case. It really upsets me, to see this happening.

    A little girls life snuffed out, and the witness being arrested… Unbelievable!!

    But, then again–nothing surprises me in todays world anymore.

    With Loving Kindness,

    Comment by North — September 14, 2006 @ 9:20 am | Reply

  15. Frankly speaking North I was quite taken aback at the uncaring, autocratic,almost dictatorial stance of the powers that be..not expected after all the hullaballoo. Either we swallow it all as our fate being a part of Indian milieu or decide to atleast protest.. in whatever capacty.

    I visited your blog today..loved the additions..keep it up North. .you are truly gifted:)

    Comment by kaveetaakaul — September 14, 2006 @ 11:44 pm | Reply

  16. This is after the movie

    Sabrina’s statement
    What about the depositions of the Ramanis—Bina and Malini? And also Bina’s husband, Georges Mailhot. Didn’t the case suffer because of their flip-flop?
    Malini and Georges, more or less, said the same thing in court. It was Bina’s testimony which was most crucial. Her statement to the police was as good as an eyewitness account. She had said that she had seen the accused Manu Sharma put the gun in his pocket and had even asked him to hand it over to her. However, in court, she failed to clearly identify him, she said that he was “somewhat like that person”. The testimonies of Malini and Bina together would have established a chain of events linking to the accused. Bina is still a crucial witness. If her testimony leads to the guilty being convicted this time, she will come out smelling of roses.

    Comment by rks — January 29, 2011 @ 5:12 am | Reply

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