Santi Thakral

Santi Thakral

Santi Thakral (Thai: สันติ ทักราล) (born 1942) is a member of the Privy Council of King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand. Prior to becoming Privy Councillor, he was President of the Supreme Court of Thailand.

Early life and education

Santi Thakral was born in the northern Thai province of Phrae, the youngest son of an Indian Sikh and a Thai. [ [http://www.thaisnews.com/printfriendly.php?id=124902 รัฐบาลขอเชิญชวนประชาชน ร่วมกันทำบุญเพื่อความสมานฉันท์ ของประชาชนทุกศาสนา ( กรุงเทพฯ )] ; [http://db.assump.net/webboard/view.php?No=1268 Assumption College Webboard] ] He studied at Bangkok's Assumption College and Assumption Commercial College before completing his LL.B. at Thammasat University. He also has an M.A. in Political Science from Thammasat University. He has received training from the Academy of American and International Law at Southern Methodist University, the National College of State Judiciary at the University of Nevada, and the United Nations Asia and Far East Institute for the Prevention of Crime and Treatment of Offenders.

Career in the Thai judiciary

Santi became a judge in 1968, and served as judge in the Provincial Courts of Rayong, Chiangmai, Phuket, Thonburi. He was appointed Deputy Chief Justice of the Second and Fourth Regions. He also worked in the Court of Appeal and the Central Tax Court. He became a judge of the Supreme Court in 1979 [http://www.cailaw.org/iicl/storey.html] .

After the 1992 coup d'état, the rebel military regime put Santi in charge of seizing the assets of 13 allegedly corrupt politicians of the former elected government.

In 31 July 2001 he was appointed by a unanimous vote of the Judicial Commission as the President (Chief Council) of the Supreme Court (Thai:ประธานศาลฎีกา). The appointment was made without debating his qualifications for the position [http://www.nationmultimedia.com/search/page.arcview.php?clid=2&id=403&usrsess=] . He retired a year later in 2002.

Accused of trafficking of children and women

Thailand's judiciary is generally considered to be independent but extremely corrupt [http://64.233.161.104/search?q=cache:0bzplsc-mSEJ:www.freedomhouse.org/research/crossroads/2005/Thailand2005.pdf+Santi+Thakral&hl=en&gl=us&ct=clnk&cd=23&client=firefox-a] .

There is documentary evidence that Santi, while president of the Supreme Court of Thailand, conspired with the Supreme Court Secretary Jiranti Havanon , the chief justice of the Northeastern Regional Court (Region # 4 Court), Prasert Kienninsili , and Central Juvenile and Family Court Chief Justice Deungman Silpa-archa in trafficking in women and children, obstructing victim recovery efforts and intimidating witnesses.Fact|date=February 2007 (To refer to specific cases here by name could place witnesses, translators and lawyers at physical risk and lead to the disappearance of case documents from courtfiles.) More specifically, there is documentary evidence that Santi, Jiraniti, Prasert and Prasert's secretary, Noon ______, conspired with two associate justices of the northeastern regional court, Nippon Jaisomran and Soothichoke Teptrairat , and five provincial court judges, a regional court prosecutor and at least two provincial court prosecutors in the traffic in women and children, the obstruction of due process and child recovery efforts, and the intimidation of witnesses.

Prasert was later appointed to the Supreme Court as an associate justice.

Santi's successor as president of the Supreme Court, Attaniti Ditam-naj , was also implicated in the conspiracy.

The charges have not been formally (or properly) investigated because all complaints by the public of judicial misconduct must be submitted to the Judicial Commission which itself must ultimately refer such complaints to the Supreme Court for final determination.

Thus, in Thailand, there is, in reality, only one agency, the supposedly independent National Counter Corruption Commission (NCCC), that can investigate complaints of judicial misconduct when the courts refuse to do so or refuse to take the required proper disciplinary action against judicial officials. The anti-corruption agency, the NCCC, however, is generally considered a paper tiger. Furthermore, the president of the Supreme Court chaired the last parliamentary committee that selected NCCC commissioners.

Appointment as Privy Councillor

Santi was appointed a Privy Councillor of King Bhumibol Adulyadej in 2005. During the height of protests against Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, General Suchinda Kraprayoon (head of the 1992 coup) suggested that Santi was the best possible mediator between Thaksin and the People's Alliance for Democracy [http://www.nationmultimedia.com/option/print.php?newsid=20002605] .

Orders and decorations

* Knight Grand Cordon (Special Class) of the Most Noble Order of the Crown of Thailand
* Knight Grand Cordon (Special Class) of the Most Exalted Order of the White Elephant

References

External references

* [http://72.14.209.104/search?q=cache:tSeOfJ9Xc1kJ:www.judiciary.go.th/Members/OPSC/santi.htm+Santi+Thakral&hl=en&gl=us&ct=clnk&cd=2&client=firefox-a Official Profile while President of the Supreme Court]
* [http://th.wikipedia.org/wiki/สันติ_ทักราล Biographical article in Thai language Wikipedia]

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