Saturday, 19 February 2011

Justice Delivery System- FAQs

Q1. Miror, mirror on  wall, tell me which is the most corrupt of them all- the legislature, the executive or the judiciary (in India)?
Ans: It is indeed a very, very difficult question to answer. As with difficult questions, one way to tackle it is by going through first principles.
Of all the people constituting the three organs, the law maker, politician, is the only one who atleast once a couple of years actually comes to the people and presents a balance sheet to him. It is for the people to evaluate their candidate objectively and choose the right one. However, even after being elected, the fact remains that NO politician can swindle public resources without the active support of a bureaucrat. Then there is the media always on the prowl looking for news to slander the politicians. And ultimately the politician can always be hauled up before a court by any citizen.
The bureaucrat, the behind the scene player is actually the real power broker. By twisting facts and laws he can actually make the politician a puppet. But officially atleast he is supervised by the politician, the media and also the courts!
Coming to the courts, once a judge, the person enjoys a lot of immunity. In the case of higher judiciary it goes to the preposterous extent of absolute immunity! I need not highlight this further as the media is so full of reports about the crimes committed by judges (Dinakaran, Soumitra Sen etc) and the existing system looking helplessly on! The provision of impeachment is a fraud. It is as good as promising free medical aid if the patient can be transported to the moon! Nowhere is the truism in the saying 'power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely' more evident than in our judiciary.
Q2. Is the large number of cases being filed in our courts any indication of the faith of the common man in our judiciary?
Ans: Definitely NOT. The judiciary is an institution that has been officially set up to redress grievances, resolve disputes and deter crimes through legal punishment.
The common man has two avenues for redressing grievances- the police and the courts. But as per transparency international both these are the most corrupt institutions in the country. TI only provided the statistics but this is a fact that was known to our forefathers who always considered it a blessing to pass through this life without entering a police station or a court. By the very yardstick of justice delayed is justice denied our judiciary is a total failure. And worse, by default the judges are in the role of deciding issues subjectively but our constitution has not provided any means to check if the subjectivity is kept minimal. Adding insult to injury are the provisions of contempt of court in our constitution and the contempt of court act! The end result is that judges have become a law unto themselves. Over a period of time they have encroached on the functions of the parliament and the executive so much that today they are the law makers, prosecutors, jury and hangman- all in one! The attitude of the judiciary towards India's first pro-democracy legislation- the Right to Information Act- has really exposed the threat our judiciary is to democracy and rule of law. Unless right thinking citizens come  on a common platform and ensure that the judiciary is overhauled -to make it transparent and accountable- the society is in danger of being overrun by naxalites and maoists.

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