An interesting news came out of Afghanistan today. A senior judge was covertly tape recorded while asking for bribe and proposing to marry a woman whose divorce case he was handling. The fallout of the news — whole world in focused on the judge, starting from Afghan president to the Anti corruption guru– every one promised to take action. And no one questioned how illegal it was to secretly tape record a senior sitting judge while he talks about his case.
Several years ago a high court judge in Bangladesh was secretly tape recorded asking for bribe. Great hue and cry ensued. The judge was removed from his position by the president.
Yet no one questioned or bothered with the illegality of secretly tape recording a judge talking about a sub-judis matter.
However when another judge, Nizamul Huq Nasim of Bangladesh International Crimes Tribunal — dealing with a much much more serious matter, where at least eight lives are at stake– is tape recorded while discussing about his case, the dominant thought process of people around me is focused about the technicality and illegality of the hacking. Very few people seems bothered with the crime the judge just committed. This, this or this are some examples.
If one asks me — this judge’s crime is much worse than the crimes of the Afghan judge or the corrupt judge of Bangladesh High Court. We should not and cannot divert the focus away from the crime to the messenger.