I am appalled at all the superficial, cliched and outright idiotic criticisms news broadcast channels are cluttered with at moment. Not one thought dwelled on the immense, historic and unprecedented nature of this measure by the four senior most justices of the nation’s apex court, of stepping into the people’s court with their appeal to overturn the closed, opaque and unaccountable ways prevailing in this very important pillar of our polity : the judiciary. It is only occasioned by immediate instances of autocratic functioning by the office of the Chief Justice Of India, detailed in the letter the four justices addressed to the CJI, copies of which were distributed at their press conference this afternoon. But the real issues are endemic, global to the entire vertical, and principally fundamental to the way judiciary is being administered and points to shortcomings in the processes being followed.
Several aspects to this exposure, before and after the press conference, such as the involvement of long time Modi – and BJP – baiters with the move colours the “Justices Protest” as a left – liberal exercise and an attempt by the political opposition to undermine the authoritative and unitary character of judiciary as an institution. These narratives, both in mainstream and the social media, are being set up to bury the essential motive behind the public protest, which is to open up the administrative doings at the apex of the justice delivery structure, make a case for obvious lack of leadership in managing its state of affairs, take away the autocratic character of functioning in the offices of Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and, by implication, of chief justices in state High Courts.
I hope, this opportunity created by the judicial protests pins the attention of our people, lay and currently in constitutional positions of great authority and influence, back to the task of introducing reforms in the nation wide justice delivery vertical, of making appointments and performance of justices in superior courts and judges in state and district courts more transparent and accountable. These much overdue reforms are far more important and valuable than all the political meanings presently being read and personal motives being attributed to the protesting stalwarts of law.
Let’s make good of this opportunity, I say !