Supreme Court of India is criticized a lot, these days. It has unfortunately originated from its domain. Media takes it up; and sensationalize. It is universally admitted that the Court is supreme, but not infallible. As a peoples’ institution, the Court keeps its doors wide open. Even a letter addressed to a Judge or the Court, in general, is judicially acted upon, if it deserves to be acted upon. A news item in the media impacting public interest gets a judicial response from the court Suo Motu. Still, the Court is criticized, devastatingly; and without empirical verification. Words can hurt when one “speak daggers” unmindful of yesterdays and tomorrows.
It is with hurt feelings these words are penned because the Supreme Court of India is maliciously criticized these days; indiscreetly, by those obliged to guard its honour. But the Court founded and working on high jurisprudential bases, structured on the principle of Constitutional morality and Ideals connecting justice with the sociology of law shall not be cowed down by unfounded allegations.
India’s judiciary led by the Supreme Court is rated to be the most successful of all institutions created under the Constitution. Regarding the balance of power maintained among the different organs, which function in a synchronized system, with the Constitution as the fulcrum, the Supreme Court is doing an anchorman’s role to keep the fundamentals intact. The Bar of the Supreme Court is also acclaimed to be one of the most resourceful centres of expertise.
Presently the whole world is going through a very excruciating period of suffering, anxiety, fear, disease, and deaths. India under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership is bravely facing and courageously tackling the cavalcade of problems let loose by the Coronavirus and matters incidental and coincidental to it. People and the governments-both in states and at centre-are leaving no stone unturned to minimize the troubles and tribulations of the citizens caused due to the onslaught of the pandemic.
The Supreme Court has been quite responsive and responsible to extend support and sustenance to the needy wherever the demands of justice are required. Circulars were issued to cater to the health requirement of the clients, officials, and the lawyers and their paralegal staff. Some of the judges have attended duty without fail to risk their safety and health.
The judiciary led by the Supreme Court is lending proactive support to the endeavours against the holocaust sawed by Corona, notwithstanding inherent limitations, even by invoking the inherent powers to do substantial and complete justice through the provisions of Articles 141 and 142 of the Constitution. The jurisdictions under articles 136 and 32 are also unhesitatingly pressed into action as and when the occasion arises. The Hon’ble CJI in a phone interview to a national daily on 26th April reminded the public conscience that it is within the territory of the Executive to address and attend to the day to day issues with meticulous care. Chief Justice told Krishnadas Rajagopal who took the interview for The Hindu that “the three ‘Ms’ — money, men and material — are with the Executive, which is the most suitable organ of governance to deal with the problems arising out of the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown. The CJI clarified that hearing of cases through videoconferencing is not in-camera hearings and virtual courts are not closed courts. Of course, the courts ensure that rule of law does not suffer and people’s lives and properties do not suffer. But courts cannot deal with the situation on the ground. What do courts normally do? Courts declare rights, which are given effect to by the Executive. This is not a situation where a declaration of rights has much priority or as much importance as at other times. So, it comes down to the question of which organ of governance is best suited for the situation. Other than looking at the validity of administrative and executive action and protecting, say, the right to life, the courts have little to do.”
The above being the reality on the ground, there started murmurs, whispers, whimpers, and humming targeting the judiciary especially the Apex Court. Apparently and the main target is the Central Government and one individual, the Prime Minister of India, in flesh and blood, Shri. Narendra Modi. Every step taken by the government is blindly and vociferously attacked by the shouting brigade of Indian Politics in tacit understanding with a section of the press and so-called cultural leaders, writers, who have mortgaged their soul to Mephistopheles. When the rogue neighbour intruded into our territory and martyred our soldiers these people criticized the elected government. When Corona went on an invisible spree and put the entire nation “like a painted ship on a painted ocean” these forces burned the midnight oil to scheme machinations against the government and the Prime Minister. They indulged in drafting an imaginary narrative. They had let out the pent up ire and revenge against the man who fought all odds to keep India and Indians safe and secure. Their attitude to the Constitutional dignitaries like the Prime Minister, the President, the Judges of the Supreme Court, and all well-meaning people supporting the Government’s move is condescending and contemptuous. Now it has reached a point of no return and unless good counsel is administered to such tendencies the credibility, reputation, and the credulity of the public institutions would be seriously punctured.
The advances against the Supreme Court are to be seen in this perspective. The wild and wide cries on the subject of “migrant workers” which reached the reckoning of the Supreme Court through Suo Motu action initiated by the learned judges is used as an occasion to flex muscles and jeopardize the smooth functioning of the court. What happened in and around the centre of the judicial process over the “migrant workers” at the instance of a few senior lawyers created poignancy of the high order in the peace-loving community of lawyers and the public. As the issues raised by the large scale movement of the working community started throughout the length and breadth of the nation a lot of sufferings experienced by them were brought to the public attention by the print and visual media. Initially, some applications were moved before the Supreme Court, and the same was disposed of with appropriate directions. As the sufferings of the moving labourers mounted to the hilt with the issue of human rights violations becoming rampant the Supreme Court again suo moto initiated proceedings and a three-judge bench issued notices to the Central Government and the respective state governments and other authorities.
(To be Cond.) …
The lawyers including P Chidambaram, Kapil Sibal, Anand Grover, Indira Jaising, Prashant Bhushan, Iqbal Chagla in a letter referred to the proceedings undertaken by the top court on certain PILs and urged that judicial notice be taken to help the migrant workers.
The manner and matter of the former judge who got an article published under the caption, “Supreme Court Deserves an ‘F’ Grade For Its Handling of Migrants”, definitely caused a diminution of the image of the court in the estimation of the members of the public.
Their aim is really and substantially to discredit the government and specifically the Prime Minister. When that is not working as per their script they turn to a soft target- the judges and the court.