Anil Divan’s ‘Limited by Law’ (Jan 8, 2002), is timely in this age of IT and openness. Some basic changes are needed to be carried out to the institution of judiciary.
It should be worth noting that only public servants inducted into Government service in India without conducting any screening test or examination are
1) Judges, 2) Politicians (Law Makers) and 3) Governors.
In fact, presently any (litigious) lawyer till yesterday can become an Honorable Judge the next day. When all Indian services are recruited through Public Service Commission, appointment of Judges to Supreme Court and High Courts are made exclusively from lawyers.
A person without any basic qualification in Engineering or Medicine or Science can become a Minister in the respective Ministries. Whereas Law Minister needs to be a Law graduate (traditionally).
Here lies the problem. How can one expect a Lawyer-Minister to think objectively and decide against professional needs of the lawyers and do some thing for the benefit of the common man? What stops our law makers to change this anomaly?
As the laws of judiciary and system under which it operates serves the public very little, It has been kept as it is for the past nearly 100 years.
Moreover, law of contempt and thereby accruing sanctity to the offices of judiciary prevents public scrutiny.
It is a truth that corruption prevails in lower courts with or without the complicity of the Magistrates/Judges. When the affected goes on appeals no further trails or re-examination of witnesses or re-submission of evidences are permitted under law. Only procedural elements are verified in the Appellate Courts. This implies that a person with influence, power or money can ‘manage’ the case in trail courts and set the course of the case in his favour for ever. So that cases in India are steered to the disadvantages of common man?
State of affairs would not be expected to change as long as the Judiciary lies as pocket burrough of the elite and the Legislators. And justice eludes the common man unless corruption is weeded out and accountability is brought into the Institution of Judiciary.
( This letter was written by me , DVS Janardan Prasad on 17.01.2002 in The Indian Express daily ).
It is true that Summer vacation for Courts is a relic of British times. It is every body's knowledge. But K Shyam Sundar,advocate who filed the PIL, must be thanked and hailed for taking the issue before the very Court itself.
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