Last two days saw tremendous churning in India’s democracy. We are proud to be the largest democratic nation in the world. India is also described as a functioning anarchy. Our friends from different countries are simply amazed to see how our country works both in good and bad way. In am sure, that some of them will be worried that if India were to become a more disciplined country with disciplined people, we will overtake most of the other countries in everything as we have large population which is hoping to get more educated. We are doing it anyway in our current chaotic status. Judges did not need to add to it!
Before writing anything further I am sharing with you the Oath taken by judges during swearing in and the Procedure to Impeach Supreme Court Judges. All rights are with the Collegium. This is important because then we will understand that this institution of judges is independent of the Executive functions i.e. the Government.
OATH TAKEN BY JUDGES
will bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of India as by law established, that I will uphold the sovereignty and integrity of India, that I will duly and faithfully and to the best of my ability, knowledge and judgement perform the duties of my office without fear or favour, affection or ill-will and that I will uphold the Constitution and the laws.
IMPEACHMENT PROCESS FOR JUDGES
As Per Article 124(4) of the constitution, President can remove a judge on proved misbehaviour or incapacity when Parliament approves with a majority of the total membership of each house in favour of impeachment and not less than two thirds of the members of each house present. For initiating impeachment proceedings against a judge, at least 50 members of Rajya Sabha or 100 members of Lok Sabha shall issue the notice as per judges (inquiry) act,1968. Then a judicial committee would be formed to frame charges against the judge, to conduct the fair trail and to submit its report to Parliament. When the judicial committee report finds the judge guilty of misbehaviour or incapacity, further impeachment proceedings would be taken up by the Parliament if the Judge is not resigning himself.
The Supreme Court of India is totally independent of the executive and can take up certain cases under its aegis Suo Moto (on their own). This is a great counter balance to governments which many times behave in a manner which are guided by personal thoughts or political thoughts. The improvement of the people and state of the nation are their objectives but governments tend to slip! Classic example is emergency declared by Indira Gandhi’s government in 1976. Government had taken away Habeas Corpus.
Habeas corpus (/ˈheɪbiəsˈkɔːrpəs/; Medieval Latin meaning literally “You may have the body”) is a recourse in law whereby a person can report an unlawful detention or imprisonment before a court, usually through a prison official.
Supreme Courts are expected to act against such events. Discussion about emergency will be another matter, hence I am sticking to the current events. When such an august body like Supreme Court is in upheaval, nation is bound to sit up and notice. We cannot go against this act to any court. Everybody has to say things very cautiously, so that basic laws are not broken. There is no authority in our country which can resolve this issue; it needs to be resolved by itself. It’s like asking cancer cells to cure the disease.
I was trying to understand the situation with my limited knowledge on the subject. But I find the following.
- I felt that there is some conflict of interest
- I am surprised that out of 25 judges, four senior most judges have rebelled, if I may use the word. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_sitting_judges_of_the_Supreme_Court_of_India
- Out of four three may never get the opportunity to become Numero Uno as their retirement dates are before or very similar to that of current Chief Justice.
- It is already a known fact that even President of India has no say in this matter.
- It is expected that the judges do not take press conferences, have direct connect with people; you and me can be friends with anybody and everybody, but judges can’t do that!
- This unprecedented act was according most analysts, uncalled for because the solution for this issue has be found from within, there are no other options. When a reporter asked one of the judges if you are looking to impeach chief justice, he said that it is for public to decide! How does public decide, when this out of gambit of everybody else including government?
- There is a story today, that government is now trying to change the method of selection of judges. Currently judges select judges. Why open a gate for outside interference?
What did these four judges achieve with this act that created a situation where the rubble is created out a strong judicial building? What made these wise old men to act this way? I am not sure if the story will ever come out. What are the results of this act? Rumour mongering has started. People have already started making this a political issue. An item on the net says, that these four judges are congress supporters; since CJI allowed 1984 cases of Sikh killings to open up these four revolted. He is supposedly pushing faster resolution of cases against Lalu. Come on, suddenly honest judges don’t become partial. In fact, in last few years many politicians have gone to jail, and many were released due to lack of evidence! This clearly indicates that things are hale and hearty in the judicial system.
By this press conference, they have opened a Can of worms, but Can is with them and with no one else. They themselves have to put the worms back. Media will have a great material to improve their TRP. There will be media circus going on for some time! So, my usual question is Why? Why and Why? Honestly, I have no answer and I hope that the issue will be resolved as soon as possible but I know that it will an outwardly resolution and not a real solution.
The main contention of these wise men was that institutional traditions were broken. These traditions have started more than 100 years, do they not need change? Currently government is repealing laws that exist in our constitution that have absolutely no relevance in today’s time. About 20 years back, they found out in district of Solapur, a report was being generated and obviously filed. I will tell you why. This report was giving a list of somethings done during the month and was needed to be sent to, of all the people “Queen of England”! This was in year 1995. Can you believe it? This was stopped right away. We have switched from messengers, to postal letters, couriers, to e mail, to SMS, to WhatsApp messages. Government departments have also started legally accepting the new methods of communication. Convicts have been taken to courts for cases going against them. Now the courts have allowed Video Conferencing for this, in cases against certain dangerous criminals? Traditions? Does this Video questioning become wrong? Illegal?
This whole circus has become like a case where your parents openly have big shouting match in public. Only they can resolve it then why had it in public. I just remembered my blog who will guard the guards? Tell me your opinion on this matter.