Of Journalism

September 1, 2009

Injustice is blind

Filed under: Uncategorized — fawadalishah @ 3:28 pm

By Fawad Ali Shah

KARACHI: Zunaira, 57, is combing the city court buildings to find a man of an average height with black eyes. “His name is Mudassar and he is a highly qualified lawyer,” says the woman, standing in the lawyers’ rest room with tears in her eyes.
The widow maintains that a week ago, the SITE police, in a robbery case, had arrested her only son, Javed. “We have no other relatives so I came to the courts to hire a lawyer for my son,” she states, wiping her tears. “I gave 10,000 rupees in advance to this lawyer who called himself Mudassar,” she reveals. “He promised me that he would start legal proceedings in the court on Wednesday but he is absent today.”
Zunaira put her house up as collateral in order to get a loan of Rs 10,000 from a local businessman. She has now started asking the people in black and white about the profile of the lawyer, but nobody knows him. She walks towards the court where the lawyer had promised to meet her; finding no lawyer there, a realization dawns on her and she yells, “I have been ruined.”
A court reader comes out of the court of Judicial Magistrate-X and asks her why is she crying and she narrates her ordeal. He asks her if she has any contact number or address of the lawyer, she unruffled her duppata and took out a visiting card. The court reader tries to call on the cell number given on the card, but it is not responding.
“I came to the court to find a lawyer, I asked around for one and an old man pointed towards Mudassar and said that he was a genius,” reveals Zunaira, when the reader asked her where she found the lawyer. The lawyer had asked for money in advance and had promised that he would release her son in two days, said Zunaira, who earns her livelihood by stitching clothes.
This scribe contacted Advocate Ijaz, a member of the Karachi Bar Council, and asked about the lawyer. “Many fraudulent people come here disguised as lawyers and con innocent people,” he remarked. Muhammad Khalil, the constable on duty in the city court, said that such cases happen often in the courts. “It is not a new matter,” he said, adding that the police try to keep such fraudulent people away from the courts but it was practically impossible.
Zunaira is not ready to accept the fact that she has been robbed. “No, the lawyer did not look like a fraud,” she says, but her eyes betray her denial. It is difficult to read her mind; to know for sure whether she is thinking about her home her husband left for her, which she put on collateral or about her imprisoned son suffering for a crime he did or did not commit.
“I have been ruined,” she says, breaking into tears as people, young and old, wearing black coats pass her by. “Maula taso tol taba ka chi singa muz taba kam,” (God will ruin you all the way you ruined me), she shouts, her voice getting lost in the murmurs of the people in black.



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