Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Judicial System Has Collapsed, Alleges Prashant Bhushan

BHOPAL:  Claiming that the Indian judicial system has "collapsed", noted lawyer and activist Prashant Bhushan today said a big social movement is needed to improve the functioning of the judicial apparatus.

"Judiciary is an important institution... but the judicial system has collapsed. A big movement is needed to improve it," he said at a talk show Bhopal.

"There is no institution free of government and judiciary (control) where a complaint against the judiciary can be lodged. Due to this, corruption is thriving," he alleged.

"You can take the government to court but the system there has collapsed. You are not heard and cases drag. So, along with legal awareness, social awareness is also needed to improve the system," said the 59-year-old lawyer-activist, the founder of the outfit, 'Swaraj Abhiyan'.

Mr Bhushan said it is unfortunate that people in the judiciary and the government do not want change and "seem happy" with the status quo.

He claimed the government wants a "collapsed" judicial system so that there is no safeguarding of the fundamental rights of the people.

"If the judicial system is strong and successful, the government will be bound to respect the basic rights," he said.

Targeting RSS, Mr Bhushan said it was "saffronising" the education system and "poisoning" the minds of students against minorities.

"We should oppose this tooth and nail," he said. Ninety-nine per cent of the villages in India do not have MBBS doctors, he also said as he called for a new cadre of physicians to be raised to cater to healthcare needs in the rural areas.

Mr Bhushan also alleged that the AAP government in Delhi was using public money on its advertisements.

I agree with Bhushan regarding corruption in the judiciary. It has always been there but it increases when the government in power tries to have a committed judiciary by appointing its favourites. Indira Gandhi did that before the Emergency.

When Indira Gandhi superseded in 1973 three Supreme Court judges - Jayanti Manilal Shelat, Kawdoor Sadananda 

Hegde and Amar Nath Grover - to appoint a junior judge, Justice Ajit Nath Ray as the Chief Justice of India, she 

punished them because of their independent outlook, not tagged to what she considered "progressive".

Justice Shelat had only a month to go for his retirement. But Justice Hegde had still two years left. A petition 

relating to Ms. Gandhi's election was pending in his court. He had found the affidavit given by her was against the 

facts. He, in fact, tried to help her but her advisors thought otherwise. Justice Grover resigned because he was 

senior to Justice Ray.

It was a blatant and outrageous attempt at undermining the independence and impartiality of the judiciary and 

lowering the prestige and dignity of the Supreme Court. Ms. Gandhi wanted to make the judiciary subservient to 

political pressures and dependent on government patronage and influence.

Narendra Modi has done the same by appointing judges who gave verdicts favorable to him and Amit Shah. 

However, one has to take an overall view. when the top is corrupt, the lower echelons cannot but be corrupt. When 

the Executive which is to rule the nation honestly is corrupt how can the different arms be honest. It is to the credit 

of the judiciary that it is still the least corrupt of the different wings.

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