Lawyer-politicians ran with hares and hunted with the hounds after Jan 12 presser

The exceptional press conference via four seniormost Supreme Court judges on January 12 shattered the calm external of the judiciary. Most of the four sought after to “discharge their debt to the nation” via informing the general public concerning the “anomalous” administrative choices of the Chief Justice of India.

They were naive to suppose that their going public would pressure a route correction in the CJI’s administrative choices, which incorporated assigning of instances to benches headed via “junior” judges.

After gazing the unfolding events from shut quarters, one is certain they would not have imagined that a easy “debt discharging” press conference would inflict a deep wound on judicial independence, invite political interference and, worse, permit lawyer-politicians to undertake a “run with the hare and hunt with the hounds” option to try to pressurise the CJI.

The four judges candidly mentioned that allocation of petitions in quest of a probe into judicial officer B H Loya’s dying to a “junior SC judge” was once the tripping level. In reality, it was once the private perception about dealing with of the scientific scam case, coupled with a judge’s unflagging ambition to reach the unimaginable, which fuelled the rise up.

Lawyer-politicians seized the opportunity and added two more instances — one, unexpected activation of a dormant Ayodhya case at the request of BJP leader Subramanian Swamy and second, reopening of 1984 anti-Sikh insurrection instances via appointment of a committee headed via former Delhi HC judge S N Dhingra — to focus on the CJI.

On the political front, these lawyer-politicians kept the CJI on tenterhooks via strongly lobbying with their birthday celebration bosses to begin a movement for the CJI’s elimination. In court, they seamlessly slipped into black gowns and smilingly argued sooner than the bench in quest of aid in politically delicate instances. The SC had now not experienced the machinations of such lawyer-politicians when it mentioned in C Ravichandran Iyer case [1995 (5) SCC 457], “The judges of higher echelons must now not be mere men of clay with all of the frailties and foibles, human failings and susceptible character which may be found in those in other walks of lifestyles.

They must be men of combating religion with difficult fibre now not liable to any power — economic, political or any kind.” It is straightforward to mention that judges must be of harder material than legal professionals, the community from which they're most commonly drawn. But a danger to bring elimination movement towards a judge as a sinister design to make him cower in fear of ignominy has its impact on a person who also lives inside society’s bounds.

While lawyer-politicians attempted to reap benefit in important instances having political ramifications via making an attempt to subdue the CJI, the manager too found the fluid situation a fertile floor to undermine judicial independence. Though mercifully it didn't intervene in the inside deadlock, it no doubt took benefit of loss of team spirit throughout the collegium to stall appointment of SC and HC judges.

So, what did the click conference succeed in? It is doubtful whether the criticism about allocation of instances to “junior” judges has been addressed. But surely, it opened the field for political and govt interference in judiciary? In 1995, two bar associations of Bombay (now Mumbai) passed resolutions not easy resignation of then Chief Justice of Bombay HC A M Bhattacharjee, alleging that an astronomical quantity was once paid via a foreign writer to marketplace two books authored via him in another country and that this is able to influence the CJ’s judicial choices given the legal professionals all for putting the deal.

This issue was once introduced sooner than the SC via one Ravichandran Iyer. The SC had mentioned that excluding Parliament dealing with a elimination movement, “no other discussion board or fora or platform is to be had for discussion of the habits of a judge in the discharge of his tasks as a judge of the SC or HC, much much less a bar council or a gaggle of practicing advocates.

They are prohibited to discuss the habits of a judge in the discharge of his tasks or go any solution in that behalf ”. Referring to the “ordinary complexity of recent litigation”, the SC had in the same judgment mentioned, “The independence of judiciary is not restricted handiest to independence from govt power or influence, this is a wider thought which takes inside its sweep independence from some other power and prejudices. It has many dimensions, viz, fearlessness of other energy centres, economic and political, freedom from prejudices bought and nourished via the category to which the judge belongs.” The SC also talked about judicial individualism.

It mentioned every judge in constitutional courts loved particular person freedom and friends may now not exert power to make him act in a charted manner. To buttress this argument, the SC had quoted the dissenting opinion of 2 US Supreme Court judges in the 1970 case ‘Stephen S Chandler vs Judicial Council of the Tenth Circuit of the USA’.

The dissenting judgment mentioned, “Once a federal judge is showed via the Senate and takes his oath, he's impartial of every other judge. He usually works with other federal judges who are likewise sovereign. But neither one by myself nor any number banded in combination can act as censor and place sanctions on him... Some judges may be displeasing to those who walk in more measured, conservative steps however those idiosyncrasies can be of no conceivable constitutional worry to other federal judges.”

It is time SC and HC judges took inventory of the fallout of the presser and put heads in combination to devise ways and manner to push back political, govt and economic powers ever so desperate to exert influence at the judiciary, undermining the cardinality of judicial independence.
Lawyer-politicians ran with hares and hunted with the hounds after Jan 12 presser Lawyer-politicians ran with hares and hunted with the hounds after Jan 12 presser Reviewed by kailash soni on March 05, 2018 Rating: 5
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