By Dr. Jagadish: In my last weekend column, I had drawn a parallel which shows the similarity between Indian Constitution in its present state to Cannon Law of medieval period and Indian Judiciary to christian clergy of medieval period. You can read it here. https://indsamachar.com/saeculum-obscurum-the-dark-age-of-hindus-and-indian-judiaciary/ . Judiciary today operates on a philosophy where native Hindus are being treated as second class citizens in this country. In this weekend column I shall try to expose those fault lines in the functioning of our Judiciary.
On a very personal note: if I am asked to point to one single spectacular failure of Indian democracy; I will point at the present state of Indian Judiciary which draws a lot of power to itself using constitution but without any accountability. Judiciary today functions like a system which has no clue about the aspirations and needs of “We the people”. It does not respect “We the people”, who indirectly empower it through the constitution. While the Legislative (Representation) and Executive (equality and equity) pillars are answerable to the people on Election Day and can be punished, Judiciary answers to none and has become unaccountable in its character. Freedom is very much part of our democracy as everyone including myself is able to exercise it with consummate ease.
Indian Judiciary especially the Supreme Court, today functions like it is a fossilized remnant of British raj with the same antagonism towards anything that is native including its many tongues, languages and dialects. It displays the same (Dharpa) high handedness and (Ahankar) arrogance towards “We the people” that we associated with alien rule of British and Mughals in India. The Chief Justice of India reminds me of an unelected emperor who lords over poor hapless people with hauteur. The people in Judiciary have thwarted all attempts at reform process and have held on to power within a cozy circuit of about 400 families out of 1.3 billion people of India. It is no revelation when a common man like me observes that this cozy circuit is the real power wielder today in India beyond that of office of Prime Minister or the president.
“Justice too long delayed is justice denied” emphasised Martin Luther King Jr in his letter from Birmingham Jail. This phenomenon of justice delayed has been the hallmark of Indian Judiciary and consequently can be considered as the key reason for India to even be contemplated as a banana republic.
Let me elucidate and simplify my understanding of it, it does not mean that legal redressal is not available, it means that; although legal redressal mechanism is available to a person who is injured or perceives injury, justice does not happen in a timely fashion thereby abrogating any real benefit or perquisite which the injured party can draw from the legal redressal mechanism available to him. The right to speedy trial and real justice has seldom been the mainstay of our judiciary. We have seen how our courts take decades to decide on a single issue. We also know of a common adage meaning “in the courts the winner lost and the loser dies” which has come to signify the “ne plus ultra” of our courts behaviour towards common man. Today “we the people” understand what a corrupt politician means when he exclaims: Let the law take its own course!!! Indian Judiciary today has become the refuge of the corrupt politicians with insider access to safeguard his ill-gotten wealth.
It is not this alone that flusters and concerns me, the actions of judiciary where a certain section/class of people by means of their access or wealth have access to speedy trials and justice. This should be a certain cause for alarm among the thinkers and thought leaders of India. It is double jeopardy for the discriminated section/class of people (read Hindus). The sections with access or wealth are able to dictate which issues and cases get a speedy trial and which issues and cases get delayed therefore denying right to justice to the rest of people of India. This needs to be addressed and rectified immediately if “We the people” have to retain any faith and confidence in our judiciary.
Let me clarify with some examples. On Dec 5th 2017 Mr Kapil Sibal a MP and ex cabinet minister from Congress asks the bench of Supreme Court to delay the Ram Janma Bhoomi (RJB) case till the elections are over in July 2019. I ask you now: Tell me what happened? Aren’t the silent majority of people who believe in Bhagvan Ram waiting eternally expecting our courts to deliver even after 71 years of independence? Even our parliament is not willing to safeguard the beliefs and faith when it comes to this particular silent majority.
In RJB case appeal was filed in 2010, in the last 8+ years our honourable SC has not been able to find time to listen to the plea representing the faith of a billion people!
Contrast this with the three judge bench set up at 3 AM, to hear the plea to dismiss the judgment to hang terrorist Yakub Memon. The activity and appeal to set up the bench started a day prior to his hanging and the Supreme Court bench to hear it was formed in hours, not days, not months, and not 71 years!!!
Karnataka High Court quashed the Hindu Religious & Charitable Endowment Act in 2006 regarding government control on forty thousand temples in Karnataka. Karnataka Government filed appeal and HC decision was stayed (#Speed) and this petition has not come for hearing even once after stay was granted in Supreme Court till date (#Delay). The Forty thousand temples continue to languish under government control and apathy till this date. Unfortunately it includes even my family temple in Ramgiri of Chitradurga where my family members have traditionally been archakas. The HR & CE on its end tries to secularise our temples by giving access to non-believers inside our temples.
The case against 76th amendment by Vijayan on Tamil Nadu Quota which deals with “Reservation of Seats in Educational Institutes and of appointments or posts in the Services under a State, for Backward Classes, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes and SC judgement on the same; has not been taken up for serious hearing by the Supreme Court even after 26 years of filing the case. Yes you read it right – Twenty six years a no go!!!
Contrast this with the veiled MASUKA law which was brought in back door through Supreme Court in SC judgement of lynching case. Multiple states were respondents and it appears as if arguments and submission happened in one day. The Judgement in the said case includes 80% of the points raised in MASUKA draft bill. To make the issue clearer to you, I have to reveal that in this case the petitioners were those who had initially drafted MASUKA bill !!! Read this article from First post to understand by whom and against whom this MASUKA bill was drafted https://www.firstpost.com/india/masuka-law-national-campaign-against-mob-lynching-drafts-bill-to-address-rising-violence-3757697.html .
I can list at least 20 more similar circumstances and situation in Supreme Court alone without going into what is happening in our lower courts. The pattern is eerily similar. A section of people get precedence over the majority. It happened in Sabarimala case and it continues to happen in RJB case and multitude of cases pertaining to Hindus, Hindu causes, culture and tradition.
The question “We the people” want answered is who decides which cases get speedy trial and which get inordinate delays? Who decides which among us gets justice and which amongst us gets denied of justice? Why do the silent majority face double jeopardy in our courts, where their causes are delayed while causes against them get a speedy trial?
PS: I like to highlight here what Chief Justice of the United States Warren E Burger noted in an address to the American Bar Association in 1970: “A sense of confidence in the courts is essential to maintain the fabric of ordered liberty for a free people and three things could destroy that confidence and do incalculable damage to society: that people come to believe that inefficiency and delay will drain even a just judgment of its value; that people who have long been exploited in the smaller transactions of daily life come to believe that courts cannot vindicate their legal rights from fraud and over-reaching; that people come to believe the law – in the larger sense – cannot fulfil its primary function to protect them and their families in their homes, at their work, and on the public streets.” Let us hope our Milords in Judiciary introspect!!!
With legal and case inputs from @pranasutra
Dr Jagadish J Hiremut is a superspecialist medical doctor based out of Bangalore, a medical author, blogger, medical technology expert and is a proponent of Value Based Ethical Medical practice. He is Director for clinical services and Advanced Medical Technology in the home grown multinational medical equipment company Skanray Technologies Pvt Ltd. He is also CEO of ACE Embedded Intensive Care Units Pvt Ltd a company which runs outsourced Intensive Care Units for hospitals. You can follow him on twitter @Kaalateetham or mail to email@example.com
A superspecialist medical doctor based out of Bangalore, a medical author, blogger, medical technology expert and is a proponent of Value Based Ethical Medical practice. He is Director for clinical services and Advanced Medical Technology in the home grown multinational medical equipment company. He is also CEO of ACE Embedded Intensive Care Units Pvt Ltd a company which runs outsourced Intensive Care Units for hospitals. Follow him on twitter @Kaalateetham or mail to firstname.lastname@example.org