Welcome to SPN

Register and Join the most happening forum of Sikh community & intellectuals from around the world.

Sign Up Now!

Shocking Abuse of Judical Power

Discussion in 'Hard Talk' started by Archived_Member16, Oct 1, 2007.

  1. Archived_Member16

    Archived_Member16
    Expand Collapse
    SPNer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2005
    Messages:
    3,451
    Likes Received:
    3,761
    Shocking Abuse of Judicial Power

    Gobind Thukral - South Asia Post
    September 30, 2007

    “IN February 2006, 26 Supreme Court (INDIA) judges faced a backlog of more than 30,000 pending cases; over three million cases were pending in the high courts - 350 years of work for the country’s 670 judges at the current rate of resolution”. Transparency international.

    The Indian republic of circa 2007 is marked by increasing threats to freedom of thought and expression and shocking abuse of powers by all its institutions. Parliament’s functioning is thwarted not only by when MPs are caught on camera accepting bribes in defence deals or asking questions to take money, but rowdy behaviour of its members. Same is true about our assemblies. Executive is long known for its insensitivity towards the public and its myriad problems. It has become the epitome of corruption and inefficiency.

    Judiciary the last resort for those who can afford to knock its doors for justice at times abuses its powers and is becoming corrupt and even lazy in the dispensation of justice. Media, the fourth estate is now more for profiteering and monopoly control over information and opinions. It employs every gimmick to increase circulation in order to sell readers to advertisers and make money.

    It sounds cynical. But how could one see these institutions which at times perform well and add enormously to the public welfare, going sick. Look at the two controversies that have emerged only this month. It involves disparate people, issues and agencies but have a common link; denial of fundamental freedoms.

    The Delhi High Court’s action in holding the editor, the publisher, the resident editor, and a cartoonist of Mid Day (published from Delhi) guilty of contempt of court for making allegations of gross judicial misconduct against the former Chief Justice of India Y.K. Sabharwal and sentencing them to four months’ imprisonment raises troubling questions. The court did not admit truth as a plea against contempt ad defined in the latest amended Indian Contempt Act. It clearly is an instance of inappropriate use of the contempt power to bar an attempt to raise the issue of judicial misconduct. It clearly underlines the danger to freedom of expression. Does our judiciary’s want to use its untrammelled contempt power to stop newspapers from exposing the misconduct of the judges at any level? Does it not strengthen the impression that the judiciary as an institution has much to hide? This in turn undermines its credibility in the eyes of the public. Some years back a well known judge of the Supreme Court justice Krishna Iyer observed that contempt cases are “Vague and wandering jurisdiction with uncertain frontiers”. Apart from the built-in unfairness in a judge acting in his own cause, serving as prosecutor, judge, jury, and hangman, a great deal of uncertainty marks the offence of “scandalising the court.”

    Two years ago, the Center of Media Studies conducted survey which found that 77 per cent Indian perceived judiciary to be conduct. Our judges know that several factors include corruption, paucity of judges, procedure wrangling and poor infra structure are causing inordinate delays. Only this week, the Supreme Court decided case pending since 1947 from Kerala about some land dispute. There are 40,243 cases pending in the highest court. 20 million cases are filed each year and only 19 million decided, leaving a huge backlog. According one estimate Rs 2500 crore is the amount that is paid as bribe to lawyers, court officials and to judges every year. Yet the courts would routinely punish journalists and writers of eminence like Arundhati Roy for raising serious issues. The Delhi High Court has taken no action against the lawyers and judges who had investigated the case of corruption against justice Sabharwal and levelled these allegations through press conferences and articles. Now several newspapers have written hard hitting editorials on the issue.

    In case of justice Sabharwal, there is no mechanism available to get the charges investigated. The absence of an effective and credible institutional mechanism to probe allegations of misconduct against judges of the high courts and the Supreme Court lends credence to the charge that our judges believe in cloistered virtue. This is clearly unhealthy for any democracy. Any criticism of the judiciary customarily invites the wrath of judiciary that refuses to submit itself to any inquiry except by them. Other countries have institutional mechanisms like complaint officers.

    Leading lawyers and the Campaign for Judicial Accountability and Judicial Reforms have been making two broad allegations against Mr. Sabharwal. One is that his orders on sealing irregular commercial premises in residential areas of Delhi were ultimately to the benefit of two business associates of his sons who were engaged in developing commercial complexes and malls. Because of the sealing drive, property values and rents went up in those areas. His sons benefited from this. The allegation looks wild at its face. The second charge is more serious. It is that even as he heard the case relating to the tapes said to contain recorded conversations of the Samajwadi Party General Secretary Amar Singh and passed an interim order staying their broadcast, the Uttar Pradesh government allotted his sons plots of land in Noida at rates that were a fraction of the market prices. Mr. Sabharwal found that silence was no longer an option, refuted these charges point by point in a newspaper article.

    Take the case of a former RAW [India’s external secret agency] Officer V.K. Singh, a major general from the Indian army who exposed through a book the inefficiency and corruption in this premier intelligence agency. The result: a CBI raid on him for violating the Official Secrets Act. Interestingly three months after the book was published, the cabinet ordered the CBI, it handmaiden to probe. The CBI has raided the publisher too. This 84 year old archaic British law is being kept alive to frighten anyone who dares to reveal the truth. Anyone, journalists and writers , whether former bureaucrats are anyone else can be hauled up for possessing a piece of paper on which the Babu has written ‘secret’ or ‘top secret’ and you are in jails for months and years. It is a convenient tool to shut up anyone who threatens to spill the beans?

    Dissent and debate are the foundation of any democratic society, particularly a multi-cultural, multi-religious and pluralistic like ours. Whether it is a work of art or a film, out comes the government, the judiciary or those loony fringe to impose their will on the masses. Remember in Punjab head of the Takht Damdama Sahib Balwant Singh Nandgarh declared that any one bringing the head of the chief dera Saccha Sauda would be weighed in gold and following this former BJP MP Ram Vilas Vedanti has offered gold for the head of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Karunanidhi for his remarks on lord Rama. What has happened to the liberalism and the spirit of accommodation? The Indian state and people are surely not so frail that they cannot withstand constructive criticism or the questioning of beliefs.
     
  2. Loading...

    Similar Threads Forum Date
    Buddhism Buddhist Bhutan Wrestles With 'Shocking' Abuse Study Interfaith Dialogues Feb 13, 2011
    Came Across A Shocking Website About Sikhs History of Sikhism Nov 12, 2010
    Shocking Revelation - Rss Agents in Disguise - Lamba Lobby in Action Hard Talk Feb 5, 2010
    Arts/Society Taseer’s son writes shocking memoirs about his father Language, Arts & Culture Mar 15, 2009
    General Punjabi language will disappear in 50 years: Unesco report.....Shocking but true!!!! Hard Talk Mar 2, 2008

  3. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
    Expand Collapse
    1947-2014 (Archived)
    SPNer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2004
    Messages:
    14,551
    Likes Received:
    19,200
    Soul_Jyot ji

    Stories like this are very sad indeed. Democracies boast of their political superiority over other forms of government. And they have bragged since the times of Ancient Athens. Yet, we see abuses by democratic institutions in so many modern democracies (India is not alone)-- all driven by the lust of power and by avarice. We need to thank you for raising consciousness and hope that this article changes attitudes, if even for a few conscientious people.

    Antonia D'Onofrio
     
  4. kds1980

    kds1980 India
    Expand Collapse
    SPNer

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2005
    Messages:
    4,504
    Likes Received:
    2,738
    Dear antonia ji

    India is such huge country that it needs much more courts to settle dispute of people.but because of lack of funds government cannot have more courts and judges.
    There are lawyers in india which are now specialists in dragging cases

    As far as democracies are concerned they are failure it is because majority of people are self centered.They hardly have intellect to understand what are the problems of government.If tommorow war breaks out in middle east and price of oil increases 3 times then i am sure the government will fall.That's why politician uses other issues like caste,region,religion etc.people of all countries have favourate past time is to attack politician
    they don't want to look at the shortcomings of themselves.
     
  5. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
    Expand Collapse
    1947-2014 (Archived)
    SPNer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2004
    Messages:
    14,551
    Likes Received:
    19,200
    Kds ji

    Sounds just like where I live: lawyers specializing in dragging cases, self-centered populace interested only in sports and making money for a boat and a vacation house, too few judges, general indifference and tendency to blame everyone else for the internal and external problems that go unsolved.

    Guess it really is a small world.
     
  6. kds1980

    kds1980 India
    Expand Collapse
    SPNer

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2005
    Messages:
    4,504
    Likes Received:
    2,738
    Antonia ji

    I am quite surprised by your statement i thought law and order and justice is very good in USA?
     
  7. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
    Expand Collapse
    1947-2014 (Archived)
    SPNer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2004
    Messages:
    14,551
    Likes Received:
    19,200
    kds ji

    Probably everything is relative and depends on where you stand in relation to a problem. Law and order is good in some places, and not so good in others. There are always stories of corruption, abuse and misconduct in the newpapers. The legal system works better for some folks, and not so well for others. The legal situation is complex and complicated. When I read stories posted by Newsmaker about the courts in India, cases that were mismanaged, the legal system overstepping itself, I can think of another story in the US that is almost identical. The stories are the same; only the names have changed.

    So I don't think that courts and law enforcement are so much worse in India, or so much better. Or that things are so much better in the US, or so much worse. How well a system works depends on many factors. Who you are, your circumstances and where you are, to name a few.

    What strikes me in all of this is that courts, policy agencies, governments, the public -- All are about the people who make up these social systems. And as individuals we as people are often flawed, angry, weak, immoral, frightened, distracted, trapped in the reality of our lives. We are creating Maya all the time -- and creating disasters all the time, large and small. It is Kaljug.

    Not trying to sound like a religious fanatic. Just someone who has come to terms with a few things. Virtue and Vice live side by side.

    Signing off. Stay in Chardi Kala, most respected kds ji
     

Share This Page