The democratic system in our country depends on these pillars to uphold the very principles which form the base of our Constitution. The lawmaking machinery, the implementers of these laws and the upholders of law, need to make a concerted effort to monitor the use and abuse of these very laws which have been formulated to impart dignity, freedom and basic rights of the citizens.
The laws which have been passed by our legislative bodies are indeed one of the best in the world, with proper safeguards against their infringement. It all depends upon our law enforcement machinery, the police in this case, to ensure that these are followed by all citizens irrespective of class, creed and religion. Unfortunately although or laws are meant to impart equal rights to all in an egalitarian society, they are more misused than uphold.
The incidents of elected representatives indulging in all sorts of nefarious activities and remaining beyond reproach are being highlighted by the media all over the country. It is only when they fall foul of the powers and power centers that these officials get activated. It is these pick and choose policy which needs to be checked and confidence restored to the common man.
The restoration of confidence in the system of governance primaril depends on the working of our judicial system. This ultimate resort for justice has become so cumbersome that the common man would prefer to forego his claim than to seek a legal remedy. The process is mindboggling with statutes which are century old, far removed from the exigencies of modern age.
The other problem is the widespread corruption spread over the lower courts where everything from files to dates depend on the amount of money offered. Besides these the lawyers attending to clients in the lower courts, are all out to squeeze the hapless litigants our of all they have. The situation is so bad that genuine cases are lost because the lawyers take tainted money from the opposition to throw cases. The magistrates are also not above board and treat litigants negligently delaying cases and giving dates repeatedly until the litigant gets fed up. There are instances of cases going on for decades by which time the main adversaries have expired.
The other surprising factor is that judgments in the same type of cases differ from judge to judge. This is one factor which is not restricted to the lower courts only. This had been observed in the High Courts and Supreme Court too. Unfortunately taking advantage of such laxities, several criminals, mass murderers, rapists and bride killers get acquitted. Money is an important factor in litigation whereas it should not be so, but it is true, “Money makes the world move today”. The adage ‘Justice delayed is Justice denied’ has been accepted by the jurists but there seems to be no respite to this, except planning and more planning.
What are now coming to the forefront is the undue advantages taken by the Jurists. They are now being pointed out although in hushed tones bearing contempt of court. Earlier also, there have been cases where judges of Supreme Court were sought to be removed on the grounds of incapacity and misdemeanor. The move failed due to lack of two-thirds majority needed under the constitution.
It is the prerogative of the Chief Justice of India to uphold the dignity of law and take suitable action so that Justice in our country is Beyond Reproach.
Corruption has found a fertile breeding place in our official machinery and the common man, with limited resources and political contacts, is denied justice, treated as the scum by officials. The only remedy for all these unjustified problems, faced by the common man and the economically impoverished, is approaching the judiciary.
May be, our forefathers had the foresight to envisage what would happen to the country’s social fabric seeped in corruption and they created a system of judiciary totally independent of political influence.
We have the Supreme Court which stands at the apex of the judicial system of the country. The Chief Justice is appointed by the President and the other Judges numbering 25 are also appointed by the president in consultation with the chief Justice. The only way a Judge can be removed from office is by an order of the President passed after an address of each house of Parliament supported by a majority of the total membership of that house and a majority of two-thirds of the members present and voting in the same session. The removal can be on the grounds of proved incapacity and misbehavior.
Similarly the high court judges are also independent of our political system. We have seen the extent of their freedom when a Justice sentenced and structured a prime minister. It proved to the world the power and importance of our Independent Judiciary. It is the Independent Judiciary which is the only forum where justice and remedies can be applied for.
In several situations, the stipulations of our Constitution are flouted with impunity by the Administration. Even basic services like providing clean drinking water, cleaning roads or making them fit for travel, providing electricity for homes and hassle free telephone services are not provided, over charged and any person who dares to protest, is harassed with disconnection of services, fines and threats. These are matters of public interest and our Independent Judiciary takes immediate cognizance of such Public Interest Litigations without making it expensive, they are taken up on top priority, considering the importance and the orders are issued for remedial measures.
Independent Judiciary is what keeps up the semblance of law and order in our country and this institution is one of the pillars of our democracy. The day it loses its independence, our country may head for anarchy.