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  • Writer's pictureAmit Shankar

Indian Judiciary; Theatre Of The Absurd

What is the role of the Judiciary in our democracy?

To interpret the constitution, right?

The makers of the constitution clearly divided the legislature, executive, and judiciary, setting specific roles and duties for each. Checks and balances were set facilitating the smooth and balanced functioning of the three powers. Also, separation of powers was made an essential element of the Rule of Law, enshrined in the Constitution.

However, during the past few years, umpteen number of times, we have seen the Judges flaunt their ‘Activist’ side, playing the Cape Crusader, delivering respite or punishment, well beyond their scope.

The absurdity of this theatre starts with the way men in black cloaks are mandated to be addressed. I am a citizen of a free country, with equal rights and duties. Why should I address anyone as ‘My Lord?’ If I can address the Prime minister as Mr. Prime Minister or as Mr. President what stops me from addressing a judge as Mr. Judge? Standing in contempt of court is a threat that infringes upon my constitutional right.

Broadly speaking, the Supreme Court settles disputes between various government authorities, state, and central governments, interprets the constitution and in its advisory role, also hears matters referred by the President. But can it stall, challenge or review a law passed by the parliament and signed by the President?

If laws passed by constitutional authorities are to be stalled in a court of law, then why do we even have a parliament? So how and why did the SC stall the Farmer’s Law? Even if it had to appoint a committee, why were the findings never made public? Sounds absurd, right?

Advocate Mathews J Nedumpara claims that around 50% of the judges of high courts and 33% of judges in the Supreme Court are family members of those in “higher echelons of the judiciary.” The source of his information was the empirical data collected from the official websites of the Supreme Court and 13 high courts in the months of September and October 2014. He said for other high courts, comparable data were not available.

Remember the recent case when a two-judge bench reprimanded Nupur Sharma? The stern reprimand was nowhere related to the case filed or the 2 line judgment delivered. It was purely biased, evil, and out of turn and endangered the life of Ms. Sharma and her family members in grave danger. The Judges felt that a single comment of Ms. Sharma had put the entire country in danger.

But then My Lord, when hundreds of Kashmiri Pandits were being butchered in Kashmir, Ms Sharma or her comment was nowhere in sight. Even when 5 lakh Kashmiri pandits were rendered refugees in their own country, Ms. Sharma was nowhere. When highways were blocked for months by the so-called Kisan, when Shaheen Bagh was created, when rioters butchered a cop in Delhi, when separatists shouted Bharat tere tukde honge, when a so-called journalist used tweets to flare up communal tension, Nupur Sharma was nowhere but you were there. In all your wisdom, you never displayed any courage to protect the constitution.

Were you scared? I am sure you are aware of the suo moto power that has been vested in you. Remember, one My Lord excused him from hearing a case against Mamata Banerjee. Do I need to remind that several judges refused to hear cases against the UP mafia?

Have you ever heard of a General appointing his successor or a bureaucrat appointing who would succeed him in the administration or the ministry? It is only a Judge who can appoint another Judge. No wonder, our Judiciary is a bunch of self-entitled mediocre, enjoying their out-of-context prerogative.

Can any government body, wing, or institution be on a summer break?

Imagine hospitals being on a summer or winter break, the army going on a vacation, or railways shutting down as the entire staff is on leave. But our Judiciary is on vacation. No wonder the number of pending cases runs in millions. Yet when it comes to hearing a case fronted by leading lawyers, the top court is there even well past midnight.

Sounds absurd?

Are you aware that the judge whose heart went out for Mohd Zubair while granting hin interim bail in all cases is the same man who had mocked Kashmiri Pandits in his court by telling them have approached the court 27 years too late. This judge went out of way to not only grant interim bail to Zubair responsible for enticing communal hatred but also directing his cases to be shifted to Delhi Police from UP Police, disbanding the SIT too. All this for a man who has not no information on him prior to 2012. No tax return, employment certificate, school/college degree, no credit card, no property nothing. So who is he? A ghost? A spy? But the court was too busy playing the Congress Crusader.

What was the stand of the judiciary on CAA?

You know the answer.

Imagine, two judges of SC, who took upon themselves to punish Nupur Sharma, within a fortnight took a U-turn, claiming that they were quoted out of context. Were they not aware that even as per SC, they were supposed to stick to judgment, not blabber?

My Lord, respect is to be earned, not demanded or commanded.

A soldier never demands respect, but the entire nation salutes them.

You do what you are supposed to and every citizen, without fearing any contempt will give you what you force them to.

Till then…

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