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The fall of a British lord

"The case of former Labour peer, British-Pakistani Lord Nazir Ahmed, popularly (or now notoriously) known as Lord Nazir in our part of the world, is a modern-day Shakespearean tragedy"

The case of former Labour peer, British-Pakistani Lord Nazir Ahmed, popularly (or now notoriously) known as Lord Nazir in our part of the world, is a modern-day Shakespearean tragedy.

No matter how old the case is, and how influential one is, a society mindful of the rule of law will take the logical course of action.

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What is Lord Nazir’s case all about?
The lord is being convicted of the sexual offences against two people, who were minors in the 1960s and 1970s, when the lord, who was just Nazir Ahmed at that time, was a teenage boy. He is now 64.

The plaintiffs in the case are a male and a female, who are first cousins to Lord Nazir. One of the plaintiffs approached the court of law that decades ago (1973 to be exact) when the families of the complainant and the accused lived together in Sheffield, the crime was committed. Lord Nazir’s two brothers are also standing trial.

The trial, which ran for years, gave fair chances to both sides to make their points. Lord Nazir’s team argued that the investigation was marred by interruption, manipulation of evidence and one-sided media trial. His team also made the point that the animosity between the two sides was in fact over inheritance. As the families fell out over the distribution of the inheritance share, the case was cooked up.

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The other plaintiff, who is the brother of the female complainant, says he was attacked when he was under 11 at the time (1973).

As considerable time had elapsed, the court made the judgment on the basis of a phone call recording made in 2016 between the two plaintiffs.

This is not the first conviction of Lord Nazir.

In 2020, he quit the House of Lords on the report of the conduct committee that found him guilty of sexually and emotionally exploiting a woman who came to him seeking help. The conviction in the case of attacking the minor boy and the girl will be announced in early February.

Lord Nazir is not an ordinary person. For years, he has championed the causes of Kashmir and Palestine besides the rights of Muslims and other expatriates living in the UK. For years, he held positions of power and influence. But whenever any complainant moved the court of law against him, the law and norms of society put his status aside and put him to trial.

Now, when the verdict is out, there is a lull in the UK. No one from his constituency, or the media have raised any voice to malign the court or the judge. It seems that everybody has accepted the verdict and moved on. That is what life is.
Is there any lesson for us to learn from this case?

Can the media, civil society or the court of law ask a person of power to give money trail of their empire?

We have seen plenty of cases old and ongoing where the point has been made that ‘untouchables are above the law’. Whether it is the Panama case or the foreign funding case, everything is politicized and justice is lost. Similarly, a tower and a mosque, both built on illegal land, will find plenty of supporters in every section – politicians, journalists, lawyers, traders and so on.

Pity the lord, who has been a powerful figure for decades, but now he finds no one around him at the time of the trials.

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