Human Rights

Is Our Judiciary Crumbling?

All is not well with our judiciary. Our judiciary was the only hope for well-wishers of the country. But, alas, it appears to be suffering from a self-imposed lack of courage to do the needful.

The present dispensation, it seems, has inflicted a hopeless fear on the judiciary. It is faithfully following the dictates of a handful of persons who control the destiny of this great nation.

The former Chief Justice of India Justice Ranjan Gogoi has given vent to his disappointment towards the functioning of our judicial system. He opined that common citizens can’t be sure of getting justice. The doors of the courts are open only to the corporates or capitalists.

As we see, the turning point was 2014. It is well to remind that in 2016 four honourable judges of the Supreme Court, Justices Madan Lokur, Joseph Kurian, Chamleshwar and Ranjan Gogoi himself, called a press conference and openly said that “democracy is in danger. It must be rescued.” This happened for the first time in the history of independent India that four honourable judges of the highest court felt the need to express their extreme disappointment with the state of affairs in our judiciary.

And now once again Justice Ranjan Gogoi is repeating this warning. It is quite another thing that Mr. Gogoi’s role was not very praiseworthy. He is perhaps the first Chief Justice who welcomed and praised the current Prime Minister in a meeting of Supreme Court judges. In his judgements, he always favoured the government. Same he did in the case of the Rafale deal. His judgement in Babri Masjid case is a classical case of miscarriage of justice. His attitude in a case, in which a woman worker of Supreme Court made certain allegations of misbehaviour against him, was criticised by media and judicial fraternity. He sat in judgement in a case against himself.

All said and done, there can’t be any better insider than him to speak about the goings on in the judiciary.

The powerfully frank speech of Mahua Moitra in Lok Sabha has opened a can of worms before the citizens. The legal fraternity has become vocal on the insensitivity and inactivity of the apex court. They express their dismay on the present attitude of the apex court in no uncertain words.

Most important issues of national and constitutional import are being pushed under the carpet. Issues like validity of CAA, Abolition of Article 370 and scores of habeas corpus cases have not been taken up. On the other hand, the case of Arnab Goswami was cleared within 24 hours on a holiday.

It is welcome that one former CJI has raised his voice against the rot. But one sparrow cannot bring spring. Let the whole legal fraternity speak out in one voice. Otherwise, a subservient judiciary will be responsible for the death of our democracy and onset of dictatorship. May God save the country.

—Ejaz Ahmed Aslam edits Jamaat-e-Islami Hind's English mouthpiece "Radiance viewsweekly".