Has the judiciary been a let-down?

January 6, 2011

A view of the Supreme Court building is seen in New Delhi December 7, 2010. REUTERS/B Mathur/FilesA former Chief Minister of Karnataka sparked off a controversy in the 1990s by comparing the country’s legislative, executive, judiciary and the fourth estate to four pall-bearers of India’s democracy.

Many would have disagreed with the cynicism the comments displayed, especially regarding the judiciary.

An activist judiciary in the 90s was seen as the moving force behind a range of public-service initiatives.

The legal system, seen by many as the last line of defence against a corrupt system, has recently attracted adverse attention for its perceived failures.

In the Aarushi murder case, the country’s premier investigating agency, under the tenure of three successive CBI directors couldn’t nail anyone for lack of evidence.

In the case of Binayak Sen, however, what is perceived as the lack of concrete evidence by many, did not hold back the justice system from jailing him for life.

That the legal system delivers, under public pressure, like in the Jessica Lall case, leads to frequent outpouring of faith in the judiciary, especially in TV studios and even inspired a Bollywood film.

But all the scrutiny and activism made little difference to the outcome in Sen’s case.

The fate of the huge numbers at the receiving end of the creaking justice system, who are not famous/infamous as some others, is moot.

Home Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram, a lawyer himself, was reported as advising an appeal in Binayak Sen’s case.

There is a broad understanding that the higher courts have preserved some of the dignity and faith vested by the people in the judiciary.

This has been questioned from within the legal ranks

And the names of at least two former Chief Justices have figured in connection with their kith and kin having amassed ‘disproportionate’ wealth.

The case of former Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan’s son-in-law has led to calls for him to resign from the NHRC he currently heads.

To be fair, the executive is caught up in various scams, the legislature is stalled, and the media hasn’t exactly covered itself in glory in the wake of the Radia tapes.

Which wing do you think has been the biggest disappointment? Share your views.

5 comments

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Leave aside the issues highlighted during recent past ,the main reason lies in inherent powers the courts have.These are misutilised as the Judiciary is NOT ANSWERABLE.Further it would be worthwhile to note that actual fact are many a times lost in the jungle of citations.Refresher courses should also be held period for the judges.One more step in the right direction would be to select judges through ALL INDIA JUDICIAL SERVICE.

Posted by BKGUPTA | Report as abusive

“Has the judiciary been a let-down?”

Is there any secret to that. 17 judges getting caught in PF scam in Ghaziabad, UP. Mess in appointment of judges by political influence. Cases pending in courts for more than 25 years. How many more proofs are needed that judiciary has been a big let down second only to police. And if beaurucracy lets down a country then what to talk of politicians.

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive

Faith in Judiciary is expressed by Politicians & Criminals- Do you agree

Posted by BKGUPTA | Report as abusive

All the four have been let downs. We have lived with gov’t failure, Legislature failure for many years. Last three years have seen corrosion of the judiciary. At least media was OK, till the rash of ostensible news channels made their debut. Now media is also a let down with Radia tapes exposure. Still we have hope that MEDIA WILL CORRECT ITSELF unlike the other pall bearers.

Posted by kpvidya1999 | Report as abusive

Largest Democracy that has a questionable judicial system hardly can be called a democratic country. The country that cannot dispense proper justice to its subjects how can claim it to be a democratic country.

The Judicial system that with hold Genocide case sponsored by the political leaders of BJP because of fear of being assassinated by the political activists of that party, speaks volume of the poor law and order situation and the Justice system. Does it not indicates that in India still like in old days might is right.

It is very sad that super power countries of the world support a genocide committal country which the country itself inquired and initiated the case. Can all the previous Governments answer as to why the case was shut down in the deep freeze for decades. What to speak of the present government as all are of the same brand.

Would the Chief Justice kindlyy answer to the query, I doubt he will. May be the government’s interference resulted in such dumping of case in the freeze.

I am sure that readers will understand when a Indian beggar’s child becomes a Judge what else he best can do is make money. Because of the fact that when the found the developed countries Judges are corrupt and are being booted out by the President what can the Indian judges do is to secure his future he has resorted to take bribe shoving the Indian Justice System down the sewerages. One cannot blame entirely the Judges after all he has his family to look after in this uncertain situation in the country and Judges out in other countries are making money in US $.

Only recently, it is reported that Judges of Bangladesh comes after Police in corruption. It is said that Political leadership is out and out corrupt and the Judges including the chief Justice is serving the Political cause of the Party in Power at the same time minting money. It is also authentically learned that due to injustice the situation may take a serious turn for the worse at anytime.

Posted by KINGFISHER | Report as abusive