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Editorial : Judicial Accountability in India
Kindly go through the following articles & provide justice by giving complete truthful information to us.
The constitution of India has prescribed certain FUNDAMENTAL DUTIES to each citizens of India. It is the duty of every citizen to protect & uphold the dignity , honour of our democratic institutions , to protect our national integrity , to respect & protect the rights of our fellow citizens. No constitutional authority has the right to obstruct the discharge of these duties by citizens of India. No legal privileges of constitutional functionaries is superior over the FUNDAMENTAL DUTIES OF CITIZEN’S OF INDIA.
We need rights to perform our duties. Constitution of India has guaranteed those rights as FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS to all citizens of India & by birth itself everyone of us has secured HUMAN RIGHTS as individuals. To express ourselves , we need information , data feed back , to ascertain whether we are getting equal opportunity , whether we are getting equitable justice , etc , we need information . so , basically Right To Information is an inalienable part of our fundamental rights & human rights. What RTI Act has done is fixed time limit , responsibilities of public servants up to certain extent. However the citizen’s fundamental right & human right to seek information extends far beyond the scope of RTI Act.
Hereby , e-voice seeks complete truthful information from supreme court of India , with respect to my RTI application appeal no : APPEAL NO. 91 / 2007. HEREBY , WE ARE ONLY SEEKING ACCOUNTABILITY OF PUBLIC SERVANTS IN PUBLIC INTEREST & JUSTICE. Hereby , we at e-voice request you to register this appeal as a PIL petition & to ascertain the stand of apex court on various matters raised in my RTI Application , in public interest & equitable justice.
he above stated public servants have failed to provide full information to us ie e-voice as per RTI Act , thereby covering up the criminals. The requested informations were no state secrets , no defense secrets but the accountability of above stated public offices. The information was requested for public welfare , to secure equitable justice to public , to stop corrupt practices in public service , in exercise of my FUNDAMENTAL DUTY as a citizen of India. However the above stated public servants preferred to violate law themselves & to protect the criminals.
The public servants & the government must be role models in law abiding acts , for others to emulate & follow. if a student makes a mistake it is excusable & can be corrected by the teacher. if the teacher himself makes a mistake , all his students will do the same mistake. if a thief steals , he can be caught , legally punished & reformed . if a police himself commits crime , many thieves go scot-free under his patronage. even if a police , public servant commits a crime , he can be legally prosecuted & justice can be sought by the aggrieved.
just think , if a judge himself that too apex court of the land itself commits crime – violations of RTI Act , constitutional rights & human rights of public and obstructs the public from performing their constitutional fundamental duties , what happens ?
it gives a booster dose to the rich & mighty , those in power , criminals in public service to commit more crimes. that is exactly what is happening in india. the educated public must raise to the occasion & peacefully , democratically must oppose this criminalization of judiciary , public service. then alone , we can build a RAM RAJYA OF MAHATMA GANDHI’S DREAM.
JAI HIND. VANDE MATARAM.
CRIMES COMMITTED BY LAW COURTS IN INDIA
– An appeal to honourable supreme court of india
Indian prisons are meant to be reforming schools for the prisoners. By the corrupt practices of the officials , the prisons have become factories turning out hardened criminals.
Say , a person was caught by police on suspicion of pick-pocketing. The police produce the accussed before the magistrate , in turn he remands him for judicial custody. Let us consider , The punishment for this offence pick-pocketing as per law is 6 months imprisonment. However the case drags on for 3 years , finally the court finds him guilty of offence & orders for 6 months imprisonment. Totally, the offender serves 42 months imprisonment sentence in practice. In some cases , the courts consider the time already spent by the accussed behind the bars while giving judgement. In this example , even if the offender is let free taking 6 months imprisonment sentence, the offender has been given excess sentence of 36-6=30 months.
Taking the same example further, say the court finds the accused as innocent, not guilty of crime & lets him free. However , the poor chap has suffered 36 months imprisonment for no fault of his.
As per law, no body not even the courts of law are legally empowered to punish anybody beyond the legal procedures , rules established. In this way, due to delay in our legal system , faulty bail procedures , thousands of under-trials are suffering in various prisons throught India. Arew not the courts which remanded those accused to judicial custody responsible for this illegal act of excessive punishment ? what punishment should be given to those judges ?
The bail procedure in India , is also faulty without considering quantum of offence & financial status of the accused. A person accused of stealing rs.100 has to provide bail surety bond of rs.5000 or personal surety by a wealthy person / government servant. The poor person having personal contacts , friendship with rich persons / government servants is quite remote , so he can’nt secure bail on personal bond. The poor chaps family is not rich enough to spend rs.5000 surety amount. As a result, unable to secure bail the poor chap suffers in jail for years.
Say, a rich industrialist is accused of rs.20 crores tax evasion, he is let free on a personal bond of rs.1 lakh. Stamp paper scam kingpin karim lala telgi has swindled government to the tune of thousands of crores of rupees, only few cases are registered against him. That too in one out of those cases involving rs.45 lakh worth stamp sale , judge has given him rigorous imprisonment plus a fine of rs.50000.
Considering the above examples it is quite clear the bail amount, fine amount are peanuts for the rich just a fraction of quantum of their crime , while for the poor it is huge many times more than the quantum of their crime.. it is biased towards rich & mighty criminals. As a result poor always suffers in jail, while rich are out on bail.
Even within prisons , the number of prisoners per sq.ft area , no of doctors , hospital beds , medicines available, weight of food per day given to prisoners , are all less & much below the statuotary limits. The food , health care , living conditions of prisoners , under-trials are worse than pigs. The prison authorities are utterly corrupt, which has been brought into light again & again by the media. If a poor prisoner questions the illegal acts of the officials , he is subjected to 3rd degree torture , roughed up by rowdy prisoners on the instigation of the officials themselves. Many poor prisoners are suffering from health problems , many are dying due to lack of proper health care & food in the prisons.
Whereas , the rich & mighty prisoners , by payting bribe get non-veg , alchoholic drinks from outside restaurants daily. They even secure drugs . they get spacious VIP rooms , television , mobile phones. They easily get parole & easily gets admitted in outside hospitals & roam free , while on record they are in-patients in hospitals.
The law of limitation which stipulates time limits for filing various cases is also biased towards the government as a party & rich , mighty. For the purposes of evidences , filing of cases one needs various government records. The concerned officials don’t provide those records for years unless bribed & sit over the files for years. Some times by making absurd , illogical file notings , rejects it back. There is no time limit for the performance of duties by public servants. When a commoner donï¿½t get relevant records , files , evidences in time , how can he file cases in time without those records , evidences ?
Nowadays , numerous cases of irregularities , charges of corruption against judges are coming to light. However , in such cases judges are asked to resign from service but no criminal prosecution against them is instituted , only in cases involving lower court judges it is done. When a case of irregularity by a judge in a specific present case comes , there are every possibility that in the past also he has committed the same in cases handled by him which has not come to light. In such instances , all the cases handled by that particular judge throught his career must be reviewed , but is not done why ? does not it amount to cover-ups ?
In many cases the higher courts have turned down the verdicts of the lower courts , let free the innocents , absolved innocents of charges & annulled death sentences when appeals came before them. However , in all such cases , the lower court judges must be punished for giving out wrong judgements, meating out injustice to innocents. Here a fact must be noted , only a fraction of cases goes in appeal to higher courts, as in majority of cases the poor people lack the financial might to make the appeal. The so-called free legal services authority pre-judges the cases before giving legal aid. As a result , many innocents poor people resign to their fates suffer injustice in courts of law , undergo imprisonment punishment , some times even death sentence. So , the urgent need of the hour is to incorporate jury system or some outside monitoring system to review cases as & when decided.
In many cases involving the rich & mighty like telgi , case proceedings are conducted in-camera in judge’s chambers or proceedings are conducted through video conferencing . outside from public gaze. The tapes are not made public and the public cann’t even ascertain the validity of tapes , whether it is edited , doctored .
One of the basic reasons for delayed justice & worse prison conditions in India , is low number of judges , police personnel , higher rate of case adjournments and finally low amount of financial grants made by the government to judicial department / police department. The government states that it doesn’t have enough money to provide for judiciary & police. As a result, fundamental / human rights of innocent commoners are thwarted. The state governments & GOI , is one of either parties in 75% of cases before various courts in India, it is the biggest litigant & is influencing the judiciary by controlling the grants , recruitment to judiciary & by enticing some with post-retirement postings.
The government has got money to spend on lavish parties of VVIPs , IAS officers serving non-veg foods , alchoholic drinks . their foreign jaunts , 5-star bungalows , limousines , interior decorations of their bungalows, etc. which is of higher priority , importance , whether the luxury of VVIPs or the fundamental / human rights of commoners ? the courts should answer. The courts have the legal powers to order governments to provide enough financial grants to it , however it is keeping mum , turning blinds eye to crimes of VVIPï¿½s. the government rewards such judges with salary hikes , promotions , luxury cars , bungalows , perks and post-retirement postings , sites at judicial lay-out , yelahanka , Bangalore , etc.
We at e-voice have utmost respect for the judiciary , but hereby humbly bringing the crimes of judiciary before the honest few judges seeking justice to the common folk.
Judicial Accountability | Judicial Independence | Discipline State Court Judges
|PUCL Bulletin, August 2002
The former Chief Justice of India, S.P. Bharucha, seemed to be echoing the lament in Hamlet, “Something is rotten in the State of Denmark” when he moaned recently that the integrity of about 20 per cent of the higher Judiciary was in doubt. Article 124(4) of the Constitution provides for the removal of a judge only on the ground of proved misbehaviour or incapacity. The process of impeachment is cumbersome and the result uncertain. Effective alternative measures are necessary because in a democracy governed by the rule of law under a written Constitution the Judiciary has been assigned the role of a sentinel on the qui vive to protect the fundamental rights and to hold even the scales of justice between the citizen and the state.
There are credible complaints against the higher Judiciary. People talk with nostalgia of the not-so-distant past when, win or lose, the integrity of the higher Judiciary was never doubted. As the Supreme Court has said, “judicial office is essentially public trust. Society is, therefore, entitled to expect that a judge must be a man of high integrity, honesty and required to have moral vigor, ethical firmness and impervious to corrupt or venal influences.”
Hundreds of years ago, Francis Bacon, in his essay on ‘Judicature’, emphasised that “the place of justice is a hallowed place; and therefore not only the Bench, but the foot pace and precincts and purpose thereof ought to be preserved without scandal and corruption.” But such is the irony that Bacon disgraced himself by indulging in acts of bribery and favouritism at the fag end of his career. This highlights the complexities and the sensitivities in the matter of effective, implementation of judicial honesty.
It is correct that the Supreme Court has neither administrative control over the High Courts nor the power on the judicial side to inquire into the misbehaviour of a Chief Justice or a judge of a High Court. But that does not mean the judge is an absolute master, not answerable for his conduct except through impeachment proceedings.
The Supreme Court has ruled that the Chief Justice of India and two senior colleagues on being prima facie satisfied about the correctness and truth touching the conduct of a High Court judge inconsistent with such high office could proceed against him through a process other than impeachment. In such a case, the judge concerned could be offered the option of resigning or facing an inquiry. I know the alternative of permitting the judge to resign when there has been misconduct may seem like taking the soft option, but considering the place of the Judiciary in our Constitutional frame as the bedrock of the rule of law, I would, to avoid public embarrassment, frankly want to vote for this option unless it involves: an open atrocious misconduct which must be publicly disclosed to serve as a warning.
This Enquiry Committee will have the same personnel as is mandated for the impeachment proceedings, so as to inspire confidence about the impartiality of the proceedings. The plus point in this suggestion is that the constitution of a Committee of Judges to inquire into the misconduct could be initiated by the Chief Justice and his two colleagues and need not await the initiation by the Members of Parliament required for impeaching the judge, as mandated by the Constitution.
Such a mode did work when some years back the then Chief Justice of India posed this alternative to a High Court judge and a Chief Justice and they quietly resigned rather than face impeachment… That is why the idea of a National Judicial Commission has been mooted to deal with appointment of High Court and Supreme Court judges and other connected matters. Of course, the details and the personnel of the judicial commission need to be debated. I am however, convinced that the leader of the Opposition must be a member of the panel.
It is to be hoped that a commission will avoid the need for impeachment proceedings. Regarding removal, the Commission would remain a recommending body. Because, notwithstanding all the drawbacks, I am not convinced that removal of a High Court or Supreme Court judge should be through any method other than impeachment. I feel that removal from such high office should be publicly debated by the highest legislature, the representatives of the people, so that an assurance is given to the judge concerned that he is being judged by the people who in a democratic set – up are real sovereigns.
I also feel that the retirement age of the Supreme Court and High Court judges should be the same. If that happens, all this lobbying, etc., will stop because, barring the case of a judge who may have the chance of being the Chief Justice of India, there will normally be no attraction for a High Court judge in trying into move Delhi, which would involve dislocation of his/her family and normal pattern of life.
The appointment of outside judges as Chief Justices of High Courts has failed. I feel this practice must cease because by following it two infirmities crop up. One, that the new Chief Justices mostly hold office for a short period in the new High Court and are not able to make any imprint on their colleagues or the functioning of the Court. This practice also leads to heartburn because some are appointed Chief Justices of the bigger Courts and some to the smaller Courts on no explainable principle excepting as a rule of thumb – hardly befitting judicial objectivity. Two, I am against the policy of non-consensual transfers of judges from one High Court to another. This policy would weaken the bulwark of our Constitution – namely, independence of the Judiciary – for as Justice Douglas of the U.S. Supreme Court said, “no matter how strong an individual judge’s spine, the threat of punishment – (read transfer) is the greatest peril to judicial independence -would project as dark a shadow whether cast by political strangers or by judicial colleagues”.
I do not underestimate even for a moment the damage some judges have caused to the judicial institutions by their unethical conduct, but damage control will be better done by selective transfer rather through a general policy.
If I sound a bit harsh, I can only invoke the caveat of Justice Holmes of the U.S. Supreme Court, who said, “trust that no one will understand me to be speaking with disrespect of the law because I criticise it so freely. But one may criticise even what one reveres… And I should show less than devotion, if I did not do what in me lies to improve it.”
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