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Published : July 10, 2013 | Author : ksumit
Category : Constitutional Law | Total Views : 3619 | Rating :

  
ksumit
Mr.Kumar Sumit I just love to write :) (Student, 3rd year) Institution: Bangalore Institute of Legal Studies, Bangalore R.V. Road, Vijaya College Campus, Basavanagudi, Bangalore: 560 004. Phone Number: 91 9535499260
 

Justice: Bargaining with its very own ardor

Legislature, Executive and Judiciary are regarded as the three pillars on which democracy stands on. Any of those pillars not acting in a prudent manner would definitely affect the very essence and working of democracy. Judicial system being one of the earnest aspects of a democratic country like India needs to be efficient and strong enough to be heard by others. The epitome of judicial system in India is the Supreme Court of India and the penultimate option left with the people being subjected to injustice. If that option starts acting in a vague manner, no wonder the very essence of judicial system would get tarnished. Courts are regarded as the last resort for everyone in this country who seeks justice.

The courts are heavily burdened with pending cases with hundreds of new cases filed every day. The precedents have now become a baffling phenomenon for our honorable judges as they are so huge in numbers. The very reach of a common man to the ultimate Pandora of justice has been tarnished. One has to take a very good regard of this calling situation and some frugal steps thereafter so that the immaculate image of being just when it comes to delivering justice does not get vanished away. This article basically deals with the loopholes and answers a very poignant question: Is judicial system in this country really acting as one of the pillars of democracy and is this system really trying to hear the very say of common people who constitute this democracy?

Unless you don’t have a thing you can’t strike out the flaws it in. The same thing goes with our very own judicial system. The people are facing the flaws which they are been subjected to. But they are not able to bring their criticism forward as they are naïve in comprehending the working of the courts. Even the court orders are reported daily in the newspaper but there are technicalities which are needed to be deciphered to make your appeal universal. The Supreme Court of India is not acting in a sublime manner which indeed it should. The Constitution of India has provided certain fundamental rights to the citizens of India and if those rights get violated in any manner they have the full right to go directly to the Supreme Court of India. The Supreme Court in this very context is acting callous as it is busy handling pending cases and that too which are high profile and in which they could get a fair amount of attention in the media.

This not only provides attention to the Supreme Court but also in a way presenting a condign guise of being truant to its work among general public. There are around 31 judges in the Supreme Court of India (source: Google) and in 2011, the Courts judges decided some 47,000 admission matters out of which 9,070 went on for regular hearing. (Source: Frontline Magazine). This only states the ailing situation of the Supreme Court of India. In figures it would not present the exact scenario but in reality it takes years and years for a case to be filed in the High Court and then get heard again in The Supreme Court of India. The appeal pattern is difficult to be deemed as fair. The chances of one’s appeal be heard in The Supreme Court of India depends on one’s proximity to our very own capital of the country. All the wealthy people hires exuberant lawyers to fight for their cases and the courts are ready to listen to them as it both provides them popularity and outside court settlements fetch them a good share of income. The common man’s court has now become more avuncular to elite class.

Though there is a provision of electronic filing as a substantial solution but still the person filing the case requires a lawyer certified by the court called an advocate on record. Tax, Company law, land acquisitions and service matters all have considerably higher acceptance rates for regular hearing than criminal, ordinary civil law matters. Generally, company law matter involves wealthy clients who can afford higher priced lawyers. But these cases have trivial significance to the nation at large. The very grievances of the people as in civil and criminal matters are acknowledged flippantly. Dozens of vital pending Constitution Bench matters have been still pending to be heard. For many years for instance the Constitution Bench case to examine the definition of “industry” is in jittery. The definition of the “industry” is needed to heeded so as to make the labor legislation have burgeoning effects. The increased number of appeals has distracted the court not only from deciding Constitution Benches but from also from hearing writ petitions which is one of the most prominent option left with the common man to appeal in the same regard.

The courts are so over burdened with cases that precedents have become a confusing factor for the courts rather providing them a helping hand in the cases upfront. The courts are facing difficulties in sustaining its decisions for long as at every next corner one precedent is present contradicting the same. This has invariably increased the inconsistency in the judgments of the courts. This has prominently happened due to increased workload of the courts and no check on the admission of cases with respect to the disposals of the same. The constitution of the two-judge has also added to the problems as with its constitution the courts have multiplied their docket substantially. It means that a large number of judgments been pronounced by the two-judge Division Benches. This resulted in an unprecedented growth in the arena of precedents and the courts and counsels have been unable to cope up with such a growth.

This has further increased the inconsistency in the judgments of the Supreme Court. One of the eminent personalities in the legal field Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States contrived a staunched advice to the Draft Commission of India as to have a single bench only. This was suggested to ensure that the judgments are final and prudent. But despite all the merits of these amicable views the courts in India have not taken a very good assistance of the same. The courts in India are also facing a big problem that is dirge of judges in the courts. The process of selection of judges is not ablest .According to the Constitution of India there are certain categories on the basis of which judges are appointed accordingly. The eligibility to be anointed as the Judge of the Supreme Court of India is 5 years of experience as the Judge of the High Court and 10 years of experience as a lawyer.

The process of recruitment is tame in a way as all the judges appointed are either lawyers or has been lawyers, the consideration of full time law professors for the same has grossly been neglected. The courts in the United States of America duly pay respect to the consideration of distinguished jurist and professors of law for the candidature of Judges in the courts. Even in International Court of Justice the consideration for the same has been accepted in an untrammeled way. But the problem for the recruitment as judges in the Courts of India does not end here. The experience is not regarded as the only parlance in deciding the appointment of the judges rather three dogmatic requisites play a decent role in it. The three requisites are age, seniority and diversity. The age factor is cumbersome in a way as it readily neglects the chances of perpetuating young blood in the body of judicial system. The suggestion of incorporating Indian Judicial Service is still gloomy. The incorporation of the same would definitely bring an audacity in the judicial system with the youth coming in the picture.

There is a very popular phrase which was first stated by someone who is regarded as one of the eminent jurist of all times Martin Luther King i.e “justice too long delayed is justice denied” in his letter from Birmingham Jail. This phrase with the passage of time got modified and became “justice delayed is justice denied”. The phrase does not get confined as only a dictum rather it can readily been felt in the Indian Judicial system and its still peeping deeper. The Courts are relied as the only medium through which any person can ask for the retainment of constitutional rights if violated. They are always seen as the grudge for every injustice done to anybody. But there are cases which have been fighting so hard just to make a mark of them but are still under jitters. To illustrate the disdainful situation there are few cases which should be looked upon:

“Ruchika molestation case” has been one of them. (Source: Google) The case went long as humungous as 22 years but still the justice looks far reached. Although the accused Ex DGP S.P.S Rathore has been sentenced from the lower court and the fast track decision was upheld by the High Court but still he is on bail and has not spent his full term in prison as the case is pending in the Supreme Court. Two decades have passed and the world has changed with time but the sordid tale of Ruchika Molestation has swept into a tacit oblivion.

One more case of advocate Farhana Shah who has been appearing for the 1993 blasts accused for nearly two decades now.(Source: Google) It all started when in 1993 13 powerful bomb blasts shook the whole city of Mumbai. Since then Farhana has been fighting for her clients which was as humungous as 80 clients. Though Farhana accepts that whatever recognition she has got today is because of this case but she also feels that the trial seems to be an unending process. Two decades is a lot of time though the case was futile on the part of judicial system but the time for which it has spanned is obscuring on the part of whole judicial system.

There have been a huge number of rape cases pending before the court and they have also increased considerably in three months.(Source: The Pioneer) In July 2012, the number of pending cases were as big as 889 which clearly indicates an algid piece of work on the part of courts all over the country. In the capital itself the figure of pending rape cases has invariably increased to 963 which is the highest in last six years.( source: The pioneer) The pendency of cases and that too such a finesse topic is highly disgraceful on the part of whole judicial system.

There is one more thing which should be looked upon is that PIL which is regarded as one of the cogent weapon of a common man is losing out its very gist. The Public Interest Litigation came into the foray as an innovation in the 1980’s. It was basically introduced to make the courts far more reachable for the marginalized and the underprivileged sections of the society. But the PIL with time deviated from its path as the partisans of PIL got caught into the tantrums. The people who were supposed to be the beneficiaries of the PIL started becoming the causalities of the same. One of the most important aspects for the PIL in this disdainful situation is due to most of the society oriented groups part themselves away from litigation and that too deliberately. The reason behind it is the dawdling pace and callous attitude of the courts for the PIL’s. They rather prefer some other strategies to sort out their problems. Even various NGO’s which are working for the betterment of the society tends to avoid the “litigation” factor and sort out some other way to bring justice to their indigents. This factor cannot be ignored that the Supreme Court of India did take a note of PIL’s in 1980’s but that could be regarded as just a modest attempt to gain the confidence of various social groups and NGO’s. The long drawn justice path of PIL’s have deviated its partisans and it has lost its zeal which it used to have when it was introduced.

1. (1990) Rucika Molestation Case
2. (1993) Mumbai Blasts Case

This article is not been composed as a cynic of the whole judicial system rather as an attempt to present a critique of the same. The judicial system of a country has to be a prudent one so as all the poignant questions rose by any citizen for his/her rights get answered by it. Everything whether is an organ, a body has the potential to grow and make itself a rapt one. The Supreme Court of India as an ace in the hole should act in an efficient manner. As it being overburdened with cases it can make some provisions to increase the number of constitutional benches in the country to make itself more accessible and it would be also helpful in nestling down the pending cases. The very say of common people should be heard by the courts so as to be regarded itself as a condign one rather being like a buffoonery for the common people. The Supreme Court of India and the courts at every level should take this initiative of encouraging legal education among the people of India. There are still a huge group of people who are unaware of their rights and the ways to use it. The courts contributing itself in the same regard would not only make the people savvy but would also make the courts far more reachable than it is currently now. The writ petitions and PIL is a robust weapon at the hands of people and the courts should take a good note of it.

The courts should pay more attention to those cases which are of national significance and pronouncing decisions on them would bring a custodial change in the very genesis of the society and that too in a peachy sense. The selection procedure is very shoddy when it comes to recruiting judges in any of the courts. The suggestion of inculcating the idea of incorporating Indian Judicial Service for all the law graduates would not only bring young blood in the judicial system but would also make it a staunch organ. It does not in any way mean that the judges who are experienced and has had a profound experience of judiciary should be disregarded. The suggestion is only about inclusion and not about discarding. There is a huge dirge of judges and lawyers in the judicial system and steps like this would obviously be an alluring factor for candidates to take up law. The process of filing for any case should also be eased out.

The process of electronic filing should be more efficient. There should be a provision of filing the case per se writ petitions to the Supreme Court in an easy manner rather than being a tedious process like it is presently. The Judicial System should not be confined only to the contours of the society rather make itself reachable to the very genesis of the society. It has to change its attitude and the process of working to imbued people to use it when necessary. The courts are like weapons for common people and it should remain the same. The judicial system not being prudent would not only effect the people of the country rather would also saturate the very gist of democracy. The three pillar of democracy should complement each other rather being on the contradictory sides. It should present a propitious image among the people to make itself an accessible organ.

References:
1. Source 1: Number of judges in the Supreme Court. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supreme_Court_of_India
2. Source 2: Number of admission matters. ( Frontline Magazine)
3. Source 3: (1990) Ruchika Molestation Case (HC) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ruchika_Girhotra_Case
4. Source 4: (1993) Mumbai Bomb Blasts (SC) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1993_Bombay_bombings; http://www.mid-day.com/news/2012/mar/130212-Justice-delayed-is-justice-denied.htm
5. Source 5: Number of pending cases.( The Pioneer)
6. Source 6: Number of rape cases .( The Pioneer )




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Article Comments

Posted by suborna on July 17, 2013
good article ksumit

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