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Showing posts from April, 2015

Justice Ruma Pal: The seven deadly sins of judges

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Justice Ruma Pal, a former Supreme Court judge, flayed the judiciary in a lecture that she delivered. Here is what she said: Judges are fierce in using the word [“independence”] as a sword to take action in contempt against critics. But the word is also used as a shield to cover a multitude of sins, some venial and others not so venial. Any lawyer practising before a court will, I am sure, have a rather long list of these. I have chosen seven. The first is the sin of “brushing under the carpet”, or turning a Nelsonian eye. Many judges are aware of injudicious conduct of a colleague but have either ignored it or refused to confront the judge concerned, and suppressed any public discussion on the issue, often through the great silencer — the law of contempt. The second sin is that of “hypocrisy”. A favourite rather pompous phrase in judgments is “Be you ever so high, the law is above you”, or words to similar effect. And yet judges who enforce the law for others often break that law wit…

Indian Judiciary: When Advocates become Judges, shit happens!

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When members of the bar become judges in the same court (as is normal), their friendly relations or professional rivalries with their fellow-advocates will not suddenly cease. They don't stop being awestruck by their seniors, despising their juniors or hating their rivals. So, how can they be impartial? This is a structural defect in the judiciary. Like · Comment · 

Indian Judiciary's Witness-Elimination Program

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Unlike the US justice system which has a "witness PROTECTION program", Indian judiciary has a "witness ELIMINATION program". Our courts systematically defeat the good intentions of witnesses, failing which they eliminate the witnesses themselves. They create conditions where witnesses are rewarded for turning hostile, and severely punished for being honest. At great personal risk and inconvenience, witnesses appear before the court in trials of murders or other serious offenses committed by rich and influential people (such as Salman Khan's hit-and-run case). But rather than recording the witnesses' statement at the earliest, judges mechanically give tareekh pe tareekh for many months and years...
... until the witnesses' finally stop being cooperative,
or their memory fades,
or they are intimidated and choose to keep quiet,
or they sink into debt and financial distress, and stop coming to court,
or they accept money to change their story,
or they are silenc…

Indian Judiciary is NOT about Justice, but about Judicial Procedures

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Judges focus on procedural issues, and give only a passing glance at the Fundamental Rights of citizens. The plaints and grievances for which justice-seekers want redressal are totally ignored. Rich and powerful people are better able to overcome procedural hurdles with money power, and so they have a chance to succeed. But the ordinary citizens of India are usually stonewalled by procedural matters, and so they have no hope of getting justice from courts. Like · Comment · 

Modi Sarkar, focus on quick judicial reliefs to common man

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Modi-sarkar should pluck the LOW-HANGING FRUITS to give quick reliefs to the common man -- such as eliminating "anaadi courts" where lakhs of people are mistreated daily and robbed of their self-respect and freedom. Installing CCTV cameras and voice recorders in all courts would be a good way to prevent mistreatment and exploitation of the common man by magistrates, judges, public prosecutors and police. Like · Comment · 

Namo, make judiciary accessible to Aam Aadmi

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If our new Prime Minister is really a common man at heart, he should take initiatives to ensure that judiciary becomes accessible to the common man. Like · Comment · 

Indian judges screw the aam aadmi

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People get the judiciary that they deserve. After Independence, we have acted as SUBJECTS of judges, and so we have a colonial sort of judiciary. Judges are surrounded by people who bow and scrape and abjectly beg; what else can you expect from them but tyrannical behavour? Now, to change this existing reality, we have to start facing them as CITIZENS, and make them aware that they are public servants. As this sort of behaviour builds up around them, they will be forced to change their behaviour and thinking. The change may happen gradually, over some years. In the meantime, we can expect scenes like the one shown in this cartoon smile emoticon Like · Comment · 

India's "Anaadi" Courts -- where all your fundamental rights disappear

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Here's something the media never reports: "Anaadi courts" are the instrumentality by which the State deprives tens of thousands of Indian citizens of their Fundamental Right to Life & Liberty. Without due process. For trivial offences like crossing the railway tracks, ticketless travelling and "loitering suspiciously" (combined with inability to furnish bail-bond or engage a lawyer), people are arrested and held in judicial custody for days, weeks or even months in judicial custody, without even being chargesheeted. This is happening daily, without interruption. Hello... Are the Chief Justices listening? Like · Comment · 

Judicial Delay -- Fatal for Senior Citizens

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Judicial delay in case disposal is NOT an academic issue for ELDERLY CITIZENS, it is an issue of Protection of Life & Liberty. For them, justice delayed means justice denied literally... because they will probably be dead before they get justice! Although elderly people are vulnerable and need judiciary's protection the most, NOBODY IN HIS RIGHT MIND WOULD ADVISE THEM TO GO TO COURT. The chances of getting relief within 8-10 years are small... unless of course they are extremely wealthy and can engage the biggest lawyers to expedite matters. Roughly 10 percent of Indians are above 60 years. From bitter experiences, they know that courts are a futile exercise that will drain all their energy and financial resources, and are unlikely to give them anything in return. Our judiciary is consistently failing to protect senior citizens -- people who have completed a lifetime of service to society. How can we remain silent? Like · Comment · 

Transitory Chief Justices – in whose interest?

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The legendary Justice Sujata Manohar was appointed as Chief Justice of Bombay High Court on 5th January 1994. About three months later, on 21st April 1994, she was transferred as Chief Justice of Kerala High Court. Then, on 8th November 1994, Justice Sujata Manohar became judge of the Supreme Court of India. Justice Anil R Dave, a sitting judge of Supreme Court, assumed the office of Chief Justice of Bombay High Court on 11th Feb 2010. And then, just about two months later on 30th April 2010, he was elevated as Judge of the Supreme Court. Instances of such super-short tenures of Chief Justice are abundant. One finds dozens of instances. Bilal Nazki, a sitting judge of Bombay High Court, was made Chief Justice of Orissa High Court a mere FOUR DAYS before his retirement at the age of 65. Mr Nazki moved to Bombay High Court in January 2008. He moved from Bombay to become Chief Justice of Orissa High Court on 14 November 2009. He retired four days later, upon attaining the age of 65. His …

Namo should make justice available to every common man, just like cutting-chai

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If our new Prime Minister is really a common man at heart, he should take initiatives to ensure that judiciary becomes accessible to the common man. Like · Comment · 

Poem: Cold Steel

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When the cold steel sliced into my belly, There was no pain, only discomfort. Gazing into her eyes from a kissing distance, I wondered Did they show betrayal, hatred Or did they continue to speak of love?
Maybe both. Maybe neither. They spoke a brutal truth: “You are you and I am I... And since you question that, Let your flowing blood answer your questions.”
Ah!

Try scaring the people on Social Media, Milord

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My main objective in running this poster campaign about judiciary is to tear the veil of silence surrounding the judiciary. I just want to throw open the judiciary to public scrutiny and debate, just like all other democratic institutions. My being right or wrong is irrelevant; I try to be right in what I say, but I am at best a journalist or cartoonist, NOT a legal expert. I’m provoking thought and discussion around various issues concerning the judiciary’s dealings with the public. BUT SOME PEOPLE FEEL THAT NOBODY SHOULD TALK ABOUT JUDICIARY. They feel that judges and lawyers must not be blamed or criticized for the nation’s ills. They feel that although we may criticize government, political parties, and individual politicians, we must never criticize anything concerning judiciary. Let us look at some of the ARGUMENTS of these people, who are self-appointed guardians of judiciary: ARGUMENT # 1: Criticism of "weaken the authority” or “erode the institution” of judiciary, and t…

Indian Judiciary routinely gives Stay Orders to habitual offenders

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Amazing how easily courts grant stay orders for the asking! Higher judiciary often OBSTRUCTS IMPLEMENTATION of laws, rules etc, and enables offenders to continue "under cover of the judiciary's robe". Like · Comment ·