Address by Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu, Honourable Vice President at the release of the Book Trials of Truth authored by senior advocate and Additional Solicitor General at the Supreme Court, Ms. Pinky Anand and Ms. Gauri Goburdhun on February 13, 2018.

New Delhi | February 13, 2018

“At the outset, I would like to congratulate Ms. Pinky Anand and Ms.Gauri Goburdhun on the publication of Trials of Truth.

This book deals with some of the landmark criminal cases and provides an insight into their proceedings from a lawyer’s perspective. It indeed will hold the interest of both lawyers and non-lawyers as criminal trials always evoke people’s curiosity.

The judiciary system is an important pillar of our democracy and the way crime is dealt with and tried in courts tends to shape public perception about administration of justice. Persons dealing with Constitutional responsibilities must involve themselves in public discussions.

Through this book, we have a chance to relive the cases that horrified, shocked and sometimes even divided the country.

We are also able to observe how they were tried at various levels, what manner of defence was employed and the rigour with which the law was practised.

As a senior advocate and Additional Solicitor General at the Supreme Court, Pinky ji is best placed to examine landmark cases in our judicial history.

While she has had the chance to be involved in some of these cases herself, her keen insights and research skills are apparent in the manner she presents them. Through her book, she gives us a lawyer’s perspective into each case, giving us a ringside view of some of the sensational trials.

One must never forget these five things in their life:

  • Mother
  • Native place
  • Mother tongue
  • Mother land
  • Teachers

Even though many years have passed since most of cases have been tried in court, these instances are ingrained in people’s memories due to a variety reasons-- brutality, landmark judgments or trials they resulted in. What I found most interesting was that Pinkyji’s insights not only delve into the finer details but also provide context to the cases, helping us to understand the actions and decisions of the various people involved.

One must also appreciate the care taken by Pinkyji to choose the cases that have been included in the book. Through the Nanavati murder case, she shows us a time when jury trials were still common and how they impacted the verdict. With the Nirbhaya rape case, she examines the manner in which such an important case was tried rapidly and also goes into the key laws that have since come into effect.The rendering of the Billa–Ranga kidnapping brings to life an older case which highlights the importance that must be given to safety of children, and the need to act on information immediately.

Through the broader themes of defamation, political assassinations, contract killers and terrorism, Trials of Truth covers some of the most well-known cases, such as 26/11 and the Rajiv Gandhi assassination in a new light. The Tandoor murder case, Jessica Lal and Priyadarshini Mattoo murders focus on women-similar to the chapter on female murderers, albeit in different ways.

Criminal cases evoke curiosity and interest because they deal with emotions. Even today, millions across the globe continue to read the mysterious cases solved by the fictional detective character, Sherlock Holmes. Why? Simply because criminal cases evoke curiosity and interest as they deal with human emotions.

It has long been an axiom of mine that little things are infinitely the most important”, said Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of Sherlock Holmes.

Many a time, those “little things” could be the cause for a major crime and people become ever eager to know exactly what made somebody to commit criminal acts.

All in all, this book is truly gripping and will be a valuable addition to the existing literature on criminal jurisprudence.

I hope everyone enjoys reading the book as much as I did and appreciate the simple and yet accurate manner in which complex law principles have been brought to the fore. I hope Pinkyji and Gauriji continue writing and keep contributing to creating greater awareness of how the laws are actually implemented and provide new insights into legal cases.

Books like this will highlight the areas on which judiciary must lay greater emphasis.

The administration of justice needs to be competent, swift, objective and efficient. Protecting the rights of citizens, it should instil the confidence that law will indeed take its own course and the guilty will be punished. We need to have a continuous process of review and evaluation, of learning from good practices and of refinement of our law enforcement and justice administration systems. Even for a good system like ours, there is enough room to make it even better. I believe that books like Pinkyji’s can prompt this reflection and improvement.

Jai Hind!”