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tele-trial Kiran Bedi sets up court in a studio
tele-trial Kiran Bedi sets up court in a studio

Super cop Kiran Bedi turns social adjudicator

Soon after doffing off khaki, Kiran Bedi donned black robes. Yes, the lady known for her fairness will be seen as a social adjudicator in a new Star Plus initiative called Aap Ki Kachehri. With an opinion on almost everything under the sun, Kiran turned up for the launch answering questions ranging from public service to her favourite colour with equal zeal.

Kiran, who holds a law degree, says she wanted to remain in public life after voluntary retirement from the Indian Police Service, and practising law was an option. However, for now she has opted for a court set up in a studio. “It is not an attempt to be one up on the judiciary, but we all know how so many cases are pending in the courts. Even the judiciary has suggested alternate measures for arbitration.” Produced by Synergy Adlabs, Kiran’s court will take only those cases which are not sub-judice.

Matter of faith

“We won’t entertain criminal cases and both the parties should be willing to come to us. At the idea level, it is very much like the panchayat of yesteryear, where people had faith in an elderly gentleman to mediate in social issues. Over the years the communication has broken down in our society. Also we don’t have many role models around us.”

The producers assure us there won’t be any dramatic reconstruction of cases, as we generally see on news channels. “It should not be construed as a media trial, because both the parties should be willing before the process of mediation,” says Kiran. “I have been helping out people through my NGOs for years. Television will give it more visibility and reach.” Kiran expects mostly family problems and landlord-tenant disputes to come to her. “Nothing would be binding. There is no finality, and both the parties can take legal recourse if they are not satisfied with my decision.”

For a television audience, particularly for a general entertainment channel, things could get a tad boring if the case lingers for weeks. “Don’t you know I believe in swift justice,” quips the lady who once got Indira Gandhi’s car towed away because it was parked in a no parking zone. On a serious note, she agrees that though the power to change is inherent in the civil services, still it has become a job for people who want to maintain the status quo. In these circumstances, young officers could take her retirement as surrender. “It is a matter of perception. I had the option of sitting over or moving on. I opted for the latter.”

ANUJ KUMAR

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