YOUR HONOUR, DOES THE END JUSTIFY THE MEANS?
In an unprecedented move which is rightfully being called a revolt, the 4 most senior judges of the Supreme Court of India, through a joint press conference on 12Jan2018, cast aspersions on the way in which cases are being selectively allocated to certain benches by the CJI.
This insinuation , by these four judges, has created a storm not only in the judiciary but also in the minds of the citizens of this vast nation for whom the buck stops at the Apex Court , which for them, is the court of last resort and their faith vested in this supreme institution has undoubtedly taken a big hit.
The charges levelled by these judges initially evoked disbelief and were criticized and frowned upon by one and all. However, the same has served as a catalyst for the CJI( the master of the roster) who is now trying to find ways to ensure transparency in allocation of cases.
So, what's the way forward? What may be some of the ways to improve the administrative system in times to come?
Well, while the 5 senior most judges may decide all the constitutional matters and CJI could reserve the right for keeping to himself hearing on certain extraordinarily important cases of national importance, other cases may be allocated through a computerized mechanism (to remove human element of favouritism) or based on the specialisation/years of experience in handling specific types of cases by the judges. And why not? In most other professions, there are areas of specialization, be it Medical, Teaching, Engineering , Defence Services .
Without rule of law, it's not possible to fight corruption, poverty, disease and all other forms of injustice which are a hindrance in the development of a society. According to a survey of 1.1 lakh people across 113 countries, conducted by the World Justice Project, our country doesn't count among the most lawfully run countries (even seventy years after independence) and finds 66th place in this list. These rankings have been based on 8 parameters:curb on government power, absence of corruption, open government, fundamental rights, order and security, regulatory enforcement, civil justice and criminal justice.
People of our country have immense faith in the Supreme Court of India and have extremely high respect for what this institution stands for. By washing dirty linen in public, these judges have achieved their target but at the same time, have planted a seed of doubt regarding the credibility of this supreme institution.
"The Supreme Court's only armor is the cloak of public trust;its sole ammunition, the collective hopes of our society." Said Irving R.Kaufman.
So once again, my lordships, does end justify the means?
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