Wednesday, June 3, 2020
Home Law PIL industry commands 'Thou shall not decide against our vested interests': Will the Lordships...

PIL industry commands ‘Thou shall not decide against our vested interests’: Will the Lordships finally say ‘thus far and no further’?

Why should and till what time the judges manning the highest constitutional office of the country be concerned with opinions of such handful of vicious “private persons”?

Also Read

Amit Kelkar
a Pune based IT professional with keen interest in politics

Flashback to September 2018, the Chief Justice of India designate Justice Ranjan Gogoi, as he then was, dismissed a “public interest” petition filed in the name of Admiral Ramdas, challenging the appointment of the Chief Vigilance Commissioner. As per media reports, while dismissing the petition, the CJI designate had brought the correct PIL route back to track by remarking – “PILs are for the poor”. Mr Prashant Bhushan, the lawyer for Ramdas, evidently protested, alleging that a whole line of judgments in past has not adopted this approach. The then CJI designate finally boldly brushed off the arguments and denied to interfere under PIL jurisdiction.

Lingering in the background were very audible murmurs about such template petitions, wherein any and every appointment of the governments used to be challenged in court in the garb of “public interest”, often inspired, instigated and even financed by either the officers who had been overlooked for that very appointment or by other vested interests. This judicious approach of the then-incoming CJI with regard to fake PILs, clearly ruffled a few feathers and the people surviving on such motivated litigations felt threatened.

However, the ‘person of interest’, at that time, was then outgoing Chief Justice, who had a different, more interventionist approach to PILs. Despite the same, Justice Dipak Misra, faced an impeachment motion, amidst the controversies surrounding his role as the master of the roster. The acerbic, often uninformed criticism from a particular quarter, that shadowed the tenure of earlier Chief Justice of India Justice Dipak Misra, continued with the current Chief Justice though in a different form. This is symptomatic, at a particular level, of certain institutional and inherent issues with the functioning of the Supreme Court itself, and at the other, of a particular class of self-styled pseudo intelligentsia, which make all-out efforts to deny independent functioning to the Supreme Court of the country.

Read: The Judiciary and its inconsistencies when it comes to the principles of Freedom of Expression

The modus operandi of this class is ingenious but simple – camouflage a vested interest, political interest, business interest or a stark ideological position as the only possible outcome in a legal issue and peddle the same through motivated blogs, tweets, facebook posts, engineered articles etc. As is often the case, the assertions in such blogs and articles have a little factual basis and purposefully ignore any other possible view. As and when such “vehicles of thoughts” gains traction, they would be given the shape of “public interest” litigations, which either have select coterie of “rent a cause” NGOs or five-star activists [often receiving crores from shady global donations], as petitioners, in a purportedly representative capacity though it rarely remain secret as to whom they “represent”. The same set of lawyers, often connected to the original twitter handle, blogger or author of the article argue the said PILs in Courts.

As and when judges decline to participate in this subversion, this machinery and their machinations, kick into gear. The judges who fall prey to this, often unknowingly, are celebrated by this coterie as upright, honest and brave judges.  If and when the opinions of judges do not coincide, the same “social media activists” bloggers, writers and lawyers, often deliberately and mischievously, shorn of the facts and precedents, castigate such judges and their judgments with impunity. Thus, the judges who do not succumb, suffer humiliation through unwarranted, irresponsible and false allegations on social media platforms.

Read: ‘Warned in 2014 that they will use Judiciary to destabilise government’: Harish Salve slams Congress

This begs the question, why should and till what time the judges manning the highest constitutional office of the country be concerned with opinions of such handful of vicious “private persons”?

The self-imposed barometer of success in a world of unquantifiables like the judiciary is the “respect” or “image” of a judge which perhaps is the only asset a Judge earns in his entire judicial career. Such intangible and unquantifiable factors, therefore become the Achilles Heel of judges. Also, due to the precedent-based system of common law, judges are fiercely protective of their “legacy” and rightly so. The political tool of impeachment, the purported master of roster controversy, the so-called failure of due process in the sexual harassment allegations, the recusal controversies, though remain utterly unsuccessful, hurt the judges at their most vulnerable spot. Judges are not a part of the political arena of “point v. counter-point” on TV debates and cannot counter any allegations in public. Judges have to maintain the majesty of their office.

With the constant self-imposed weakening of the power of contempt, the Judges are left powerless even if wild and baseless allegations are made by such vested interests with malice and an identifiable agenda. The legacy and image judges so relish as the only “saving” they have in their life’s balance sheet earned during their entire judicial career is damaged irrevocably thereby irretrievably damaging their carefully protected reputation through decades of sacrifice. The “independent” criticism, therefore, becomes a farce in an attempt to brow-beat judges to toe the line or face public embarrassment, personal accusations and a troubled legacy. To be fair, this is a fairly recent phenomenon and largely due to a desperate attempt of this class to continue to have deep access in the mainstream and intelligentsia.

The pervasive presence of this elite clique in social media, leave little scope for independence or disagreement. The approach is “my way or the highway” wherein judges who fail to cater to such vested interests or ideological biases, face an all too familiar fate. The incoming Chief Justice, perhaps in an attempt to hint at this, very correctly stated that a certain section exercises the fundamental right to freedom of speech far too much than the other.

This reminds one of the prophetic lines of senior advocate Harish Salve during the fag end of the arguments in one such “public interest” case. Mr Salve, after the entire arguments on merits, had been canvassed, almost as an elderly statesman of the bar, warned the judges of this same approach. Mr Salve, after referring to the rhetoric and its role during legal arguments, in the context of wild and baseless allegations on the judges, exclaimed – “today, in an attempt to hurt one particular politician, they have attacked everyone that they have found in their way.  Tomorrow, after you give the judgment, they will attack you.” As we all know, his prophecy did not remain unfulfilled and materialised soon.

Fast-forward a year. History is seen repeating itself albeit in a different context. The present Chief Justice-Justice Gogoi and the discourse surrounding his legacy is the direct a result of his “no-nonsense approach” in motivated PILs. The scorn with this approach, this clique is out in the open with the set template – “Thou shall not decide against our vested interests”. It is hoped, however; that what will define his legacy will be the alacrity and brevity of his judgments, his unflinching approach in hearing otherwise untouched matters and his practical approach in judicial appointments.

The question which remained unanswered so far is, will the Court – as a collective institution – take up this challenge and send a message, loud and clear, “thus far and no further”. Will this great institution prefer to bend before the nuisance value created by such social parasites based upon their willingness to stoop to any level, or send the message that enough is enough.  Will the please Your Lordships to do that?

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

Amit Kelkar
a Pune based IT professional with keen interest in politics

Trending now

The fake equivalence communists are trying to manufacture between Blacks of America and Muslims of India

The killing og Geoge Floyd in the USA by the cops and the subsequent riots have got the Communists in India to draw a false equivalence between blacks in USA and Muslims in India

OpIndia reports cited in fact-finding report on the Delhi anti-CAA riots submitted to Home Minister Amit Shah. Read details

The report by NGO Call for Justice was submitted to Home Minister Amit Shah on Friday.

“Indians are unaware of their rights,” Vinod Dua takes inspiration from US riots and urges people in India to follow suit

Vinod Dua says people in India failed to display their anger like the violent rioters in US did in the name of protests

Relaxation fallout: Anti-CAA lobby to organise nationwide protests to demand the scrapping of UAPA, release of the anti-CAA rioters

The anti-CAA lobby has called to organise a mass protest movement titled 'Sab Yad Rakha Jaega' to mobilise support and corner government on the arrests of anti-CAA rioters

“Utna dimaag hota to comedian kyun banta”: Netizens roast comedian Vir Das for asking critics to not criticise comics unless they have written joke...

In what came across as the 'woke' version of asking people to walk a mile in someone's shoes before criticising them, Vir Das asked people who don't like jokes to not tell the comedians tha their jokes are lame unless they have written jokes themselves.

Hindustani Bhau files police complaint against Ekta Kapoor for ‘inappropriate sex scene’ in her erotic web series XXX 2

Hindustani Bhau took to Instagram on Monday to share a video from outside Mumbai's Khar Police station stating that he has filed the complaint against Ekta and Shobha Kapoor 'for disrespecting our Indian military, national emblem, colonel tag and defaming our country'.

Recently Popular

Woman ‘protestor’ poops on an overturned police car in middle of riots in America. Watch the video (or maybe not)

A woman was seen defecating on a damaged police car in USA, an act video recorded and photographed by onlookers

George Floyd protests: Nike, Louis Vuitton, Macy’s, Adidas stores vandalised and looted by rioters in the US

The 'protests' against George Floyd killing have now escalated into large-scale riots, vandalism and looting of luxury stores

George Floyd killing: Rioter chants ‘La Ilaha Illalaha’ while ‘protesting’ in America

One protester in George Floyd killing protests was heard chanting the Islamic prayer claiming that Allah is the only god

Hacker group ‘Anonymous’ declares war on Minneapolis police force after George Floyd killing, demands criminal charges against all cops involved in the incident

Anonymous said it does not trust the Minneapolis Police Department to "carry out justice" and warned the force to "expect" them

As in US, so in India: Antifa in India glorifies Naxalism, advocates violence against Sanghis and engages in genocidal rhetoric

India cannot afford to take the threat of Antifa India lightly. India has been waging a war against Red Terror for decades.

Rajdeep Sardesai tries to mock Sonam Wangchuk by peddling fake news that Statue of Unity is Made in China, deletes it: Read details

The Statue of Unity is actually constructed by Larsen & Toubro in India and not in China as claimed by Rajdeep Sardesai

West Bengal: Mamata Banerjee government quarantines five migrant workers in an abandoned public toilet in Kolkata

An abandoned public toilet in Taratala, Kolkata used as quarantine center to house migrants by West Bengal government

Death of woman at Muzaffarpur station: Railway affidavit filed in Patna HC states she died 4 hours ago in train, brother-in-law said she had...

Indian Railways files affidavit in Patna High Court in the case of death of woman at Muzaffarpur station, says train was not delayed

Concerns raised over nuclear and chemical plants in Maharashtra as cyclone Nisarga heads towards the state

Maharashtra has several chemical and nuclear plants which are a matter of concern due to the cyclone Nisarga.

Religious conversions of Dalit Hindus in Uttarakhand prevalent since ages becomes more rampant during coronavirus pandemic

Coronavirus pandemic gave the Christian's an opportunity to lure the affected backward Hindus in Uttarakhand via monetary inducements

Pakistan: Christian couple, convicted for blasphemy, gets an appeal hearing against death penalty after 6 years

The duo was handed the death sentence for blasphemy by an additional district and sessions judge of Toba Tek Singh on April 4, 2014,

Delhi riot charge-sheet: Tahir Hussain met Umar Khalid, Pinjra Tod activists sent messages asking Muslims to keep acid, petrol, hot water, stones ready

The Delhi riot charge-sheet prove beyond doubt that the violence was well planed and organised by Islamist and leftist activists

Intelligence report says terrorists and anti-social elements planning attacks in Delhi, CRPF steps up security in the national capital

Alert issued by intelligence agencies say Terrorists of the various groups as well as anti-social elements might be planning terror attacks in Delhi

The fake equivalence communists are trying to manufacture between Blacks of America and Muslims of India

The killing og Geoge Floyd in the USA by the cops and the subsequent riots have got the Communists in India to draw a false equivalence between blacks in USA and Muslims in India

Adesh Kumar Gupta replaces Manoj Tiwari as Delhi BJP president

The position of Delhi BJP Chief which was being handled by Manoj Tiwari has been handed over to Adesh Kumar Gupta

Sadanand Dhume and Omar Abdullah like a disparaging tweet to Republic TV from Pakistani lawyer who had earlier glorified terrorists attacking India

Asad Khan, the Pakistani lawyer, had earlier posted tweets glorifying terrorist Riyaz Naikoo as 'resister' and accusing the Indian government of brutalising Kashmiris through coronavirus

Connect with us