Letters to the editor

Readers’ comments: ‘Something must be done to restore faith in the Indian judiciary’

A selection of readers’ opinions.

Judicial crisis

Renowned jurist Fali Nariman has rightly analysed the present crisis in the judiciary created by the press conference held by four Supreme Court judges in open rebellion against the Chief Justice, which is against legal ethics (“‘Wait till the chief justice retires’: Jurist Fali Nariman says rift in SC ‘like never before’”).When these senior judges conduct themselves in this manner, how can they talk of upholding the prestige of Supreme Court? There is some agenda behind all the selective dissent. The Chief Justice has the final say on allocation of cases and the constitution of benches, just like the chief minister has the prerogative to decide the members of his cabinet. One has to be responsible to run the show in any institution. – Mruthyunjaya S

***

The Chief Justice of India is the master of the roster. But that doesn’t mean that the roster can be made without applying intellectual honesty. When that is doubted, the master of the roster is duty bound to make it clear that the principle of honesty and impartiality is being upheld while making the roster. – Balakrishnan Velayudhan

***

For many decades, the roster of the court has been fixed on the instructions of Chief Justice of India, but never before has any problem been raised in this regard by other judges or lawyers. On many occasions, judges have recused themselves from cases if they thought there could be a conflict of interest. But for the first time, the four senior-most judges after the Chief Justice held a press conference on this, possibly because they felt that they were being deprived of hearing some matters that ought to have come before them. Many senior members of the Bar felt that the step should not have gone public in that manner. Though these four judges have not raised the issue again, some lawyers moved the Supreme Court seeking some regulations on the constitution of benches. The Supreme Court has dismissed one such plea and others may also meet with the same result. It is expected that the issue will be put to rest, the earlier system will continue and the chief justice’s prerogative to decide the roster will not not be questioned again. – Rajiv Mehta

***

All judges should obey the Chief Justice of India regardless of the person in the post. He is the highest authority in India and his judgement can never be biased . We must should have regard for him. – Virendra Dimri

***

This is a matter that concerns more than 130 crore Indians. Something must be done to protect the faith in and respect of the judiciary. First, the judiciary should move away from the shadow of politics. Several incidents have created questions. The recent judgment of Mecca Masjid blasts and immediate (though temporary) resignation of the judge shocked everyone. Something must be done to uphold the dignity of the institution. – Syed Mohammed Rafiq

***

It must be admitted that the revolting judges themselves have diminished the stature of the highest court of justice of our country. Granted the Chief Justice of India may have been partial but does that justify the judges’ actions? Who will question them? – Anup Kumar

***

I fully agree with the view of our senior college Nariman. The Chief Justice of India is the master of the roster and the benches. The press conference did not suit the dignity of the dissenting judges and was unprecedented in the Temple of Justice. All the judges of Supreme Court are pillars of our Constitution. They must not damage it. – MK Thakur

Impeachment move

Just removing the Chief Justice of India will not suffice (“Explainer: All you need to know about the impeachment motion against CJI Dipak Misra”). He is a product of the system. The system has to be revamped. Today advocates can pursue any unreasonable plea and waste time and go scot-free after making others suffer. A judge can favour an associate without any punishment for a non-judicial act. First there has to be law to fix liability on advocates for aiding criminals by pursuing pleas beyond rule of law. Then there should be law to restrain judges from passing an order beyond the rule of law. All non-judicial acts should be punishable. Many are suffering because of the non-judicial acts of the advocates and judges. A statutory body is needed to keep judges from treading beyond the rule of law. – Prakash Yadav

Loya verdict

It is not Supreme Court that does not want to find out the truth (“The lesson of the Loya verdict: Supreme Court doesn’t want to find out the truth about judge’s death”). The truth is already known.It is people like you and your ilk who believe that whatever you say is the truth and everything else is false. The whole case was an attempt by Rahul Gandhi to somehow implicate Amit Shah. Now that it has come to naught, you are peeved. You want to couch your disappointment in a language that shows you as fighting a heroic battle. – VSG Chandra Sekhar

***

While we must accept and respect the judgement, the suspicions arise because of many cases in Gujarat, including the death of Haren Pandya and the victimisation of police officers who did not toe the line of the chief minister or home minister. Cases of 2002 riots are still in court and witnesses are becoming hostile. Some cases that were completed were transferred out of Gujarat. In the snoopgate case, the actions against some officials is now well known. The opinions expressed publicly by former Chief Justice of India TS Thakur does raise questions about the independence of the judiciary being respected by the executive. – SN Iyer

Comfort zone

I believe that once a child is sensitised to realities other than books and exam, that will automatically bring meaning to their lives and make them successful human beings and professionals (“Blocking out the poor: Why the attitude of many urban middle class volunteers at my NGO bothers me”).

Though my daughter started working with an NGO in Delhi as part of her school curriculum, she realised from the word go that playing with and helping educate underprivileged children left her feeling satisfied and happy. Now she never misses an opportunity. – Ripula Khanna

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The author talks about helicopter parenting. Why are Indian parents babysitting their children for life and interfering with their lives? Why do kids want to have nannies forever? An accomplishment is never worthy if someone has to handhold you all the time. When will our children turn into adults in the real sense and face the world themselves? When will parents let go and interfere only if asked for help by their children? Children are not a trophy for parents to hold show off as proof of their abilities. The parent’s duty is to help the child in the formative years, that is until the age of 12, and then thereafter stop interfering in their lives but be around for them for a few more years, if the child needs help and until he or she turns into an adult. The insecurity that leads many parents to control their child needs to be understood and addressed. – Vinai

Empire falls

This is a very important postulation by the historian (“How did the mighty Mughal Empire fall to a bunch of British merchants?”). Traditionally, the business class wielded enormous power. As Adam Smith observed, the British rulers framed policies in accordance with the need of manufacturers and the business community. They held de facto political power. Similarly, the British corporate company had the cunning policy of defrauding the Indian rich class and engaged with kings for business, gradually gaining political power. Ultimately, the Indian business list their value to the East India Company.

This pent-up anger in the business class of India was to play a key role in shaping independence and ultimately getting ‘ freedom to conduct their business smoothly. Thus, independence was achieved by corporate upper class and caste while lower castes still remain without freedom. – Sheshu Babu

Women’s safety

There has been much clamour and deservedly so about the horrific rapes in India and the even more horiffic response by the authorities (“Kathua in focus: Slogans and outrage must not wipe out the specifics of the crime”). In my opinion, rapes happen for one of several reasons: depravity, ignorance and dominance, for instance, a tribe, race, religion, caste, gender wanting to establish its dominance over another. Most mass rapes belong to this category. Throughout history, conquerors have raped the conquered Domestic violence takes place to deepen male privilege, caste violence happens to deepen caste privilege and religious violence happens to ensure religious dominance. So rape too is an undemocratic violent political tool. In a civilised society, no problem can be compartmentalised as it is related to other problems. To solve this problem, we need to rid society of all politicians, political parties and religious institutions that are flourishing on the Divide and Rule policy. These are the institutions that polarise the citizenry to ensure political, religious, caste domination.

We also need to build politicians, political parties, institutions that foster justice, liberty, equality, and fraternity. For that, it is essential for us to be good individuals and thus good parents first, so that the next generations will have high moral values and will indulge in polity which will bring unity in diversity.

For this, education and poverty alleviation is important. The state has to bear a lot of responsibility in the short term. We need free or affordable quality education, low cost of essential food items and affordable medical services. This will help take care of poverty and allow people to focus on moral and spiritual concerns. – Sameer Pat

Fake news

So, from now on, someone can spread canards by openly calling it a canard (“Fake news: This Indian newspaper chose to publish a ‘concocted’ story on the Kathua rape case”)! And they can plead not guilty because they had said that it was a canard. Funny logic. The Sunday Guardian Editor MD Nalapat seems to believe that even canards and fake news should have a place along with the true stories. To hell with the journalistic standards. Once this logic is accepted fake news will not need any disclaimer. You can commit a murder and say you did it and just because you say it, you should not be punished. – Dipak Dholakia

***

Certain groups of people are urgently trying to promote wrong information because they can feel secure only if propped up by false and inflated image. The misinformation being spread in the Kathua rape case is an example. Accepting the negative image of the BJP, that too in an incident of such magnitude, appears to be beyond the capacity of some people. One should study the events and understand if they have lost their minds. If so, why?

What is the source of the alternative information being spread, including that the rumour that the first post-mortem report mentioned only murder and not the rape? The FIR says the exactly opposite. But finding the truth does not appear to be the motive here. What people need is a rosy picture of the government and the belief that there are no major concerns, and no one to blame.

There was also a rumour that a new law, IPC Section 233, has been passed by the Modi government allowing a girl who has been raped or thinks she is likely to be raped to kill the accused. One can understand their craven desire to build the image of Modi as highly sympathetic, sensitive leader prompt in addressing the injustice to women. But problem is that they are incompetent to protect and create such an image.

When celebrities posted their picture along with a placard seeking justice for the Kathua victim, they were attacked and their honesty and morality questioned. Such trolling not only goes against modern civilised thought but also tries to cover up the deeper concerns. Of course, rape and murder of a child is the most heinous crime, but there is other, equally important issue.

So why the need for falsehood to protect the image of Modi? The answer is simple, his devotees are afraid that the real image of their supreme leader is imperfect and if these defects are uncovered, they will be no one left who they can believe will solve their every problem. If one goes into the psychology behind this, one can understand the situation better. This is a critical situation. All efforts are necessary to study the mental set up of people connected with spreading false information. – Rajeev Joshi

Ancient technology

The technology invented in the modern era pales in comparison to ancient technologies (“Tripura CM’s claims about internet in Mahabharat era inspires hilarious memes on ancient Indian tech”). Because at that time, it was all thought of as boons bestowed by divine powers who control the entire universe. The examples being given today are only to offer a comparison of what existed in those days. And it took till the 21st century to prove it, that too with the latest modern technology. – AR Ganesh

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