Legislative Activism: The writing is on the wall for Justice Soumitra Sen
The writing is on the wall. By the time you read this piece, Mr. Justice Soumitra Sen would be bracing up for his impeachment by the LokSabha , if he will not have already resigned by then. In perhaps the most µinteresting¶ times in post-Emergency India, the Legislature-in an effort to stamp its supremacy over both the nationwide anti -corruption agitation led by the 1965 Indo-Pak war veteran, Anna Hazare, as well as over the judicature that had been indulging in judicial hara-kirisince the Second Judges case-will be all too keen to make an example of Justice Sen. I have a gut feeling -Justice Sen will be sacrificed at the altar of Parliamentary Su premacy. This is not to suggest that Mr. Justice Soumitra Sen is being made a scapegoat. To the contrary, Mr. Sen hold s the ignominious distinction of being only the second judge in the constitutional life of India , against whom Parliament has initiated I mpeachment proceedings for removal from the high office for ³proved misbehavior´ as laid down in Article 124 (4) read with Article 217 (1) (b) of the Constitution. He shares the distinction only with one former judge of the Supreme Court, Mr. Justice V. Ramaswamy, who of course got off the hook necessarily because of the wretchedly cumbersome impeachment procedure itself, as well as a µwickedly¶ over-friendly Congress Party.
Lifelong Immunity to Judges: An error of foresight
The drafting committee of the Constituent Assembly failed to imagine, much less foresee, the depravity that would come to define the standard of judicial conduct in India. In a bid to ensure that the members of the higher judicature remained independent to fearlessly become the vanguards of the rights and liberties of the poor, the framers enacted such a procedure for the removal of judges of higher judiciary that - characteristic of the Nehru era, where noblest intentions often led to horrendously opposite results ±the procedure itself epitomised the circumvention of those rights and liberties it was supposed to
none of the thousands of serious allegations have led to removal of the culprit judge. by leaving the process of appointment of judges wholly untouched. Y. A.J. Sabharwal and most recently. and the investigating committee. The erstwhile requirement of address to the Parliament and passing the impeachment motion by two -thirds majority in each house has not been tweaked either. The Judicial Bill. K. like several millions of my countrymen. exposed to all the discerning people the true motive behind the bill.I. Unfortunately. Punchi. and dismissal procedures of the official concerned.G. 2010: A case of too little too late
When the Congress led government introduced the Judicial Standards And Accountability Bill. In the Judicial Bill.protect. shall be the chairperson of all -
. A literal lifelong immunity to the judges of higher judiciary was guaranteed by way of the aforesaid constitutional provisions. M. forget their conviction in any court of law. Also. the Judicial Bill must not have entrusted with them the entire investigative scheme under the bill. the oversight committee.J. Anand. With regard to the procedure for removal of judges. Balakrishnan ).
The consequences have been horrifying.my hopes were dashed. a former C. 2010 (³ Judicial Bill´) to check the nose-diving standards of judicial conduct. hoped that this bill would address the issue with great deal of honesty and certainty. I. going by the increasing propensity of Chief Justices of India ± both former and current ± to be found entrenched in corruption (Remember the cases of C . as has been evident from the severe allegations leveled against umpteen judges of commission of heinous crimes ranging from FERA violations to murders. it has replaced one µinquiry committee¶ with three new committees . and to acquitting criminals in return for sexual favors.
The root to any kind of corruption lies in the appointment. Mr. M. Mr. suspension.the scrutiny committee. Mr.K.
Judicial Standards And Accountability Bill.S.I. Unfortunately ±as characteristic of the times we live in .
that will require a Gandhian effort. depending on what side you take in the raging debate. the very cause ± that corruption needs to be eradicated before it destroys whatever gains our parliamentary democracy has attained ± is beyond debate. its electoral fortunes will get a fantastic fillip. In fact.
The present Congress led government will be stupid if it prolonged its naïve attitude towards this popular nationwide sentiment in favor of bringing the corrupt and guilty to book. be it a Supreme Court Judge. if it seized the baton from others and led the anti-corruption tirade henceforth.J.I. the very same means it appears totally abhorrent to in the present scenario. The self-proclaimed party for the aamaadmi will be seriously jeopardizing not only the prospects of its µYuvraaj¶enthroning the Prime Ministerial office. but also losing all claims of being called the party that fought for and got us freedom from the Raj through the Gandhian means of Satyagraha and Ahimsa. a Member of Parliament. the Prime Minister him self. There is therefore a national consensus on the need for strong antigraft law .
Meanwhile.powerful µoversight committee¶. 2010 ± will not suffice. or the highest executive of the country.
Interesting times: A test ofour democracy
With the Anna agitation gaining some steam. While it is debatable what form of Lokpal is required to weed out corruption from all walks of life in India. One can safely predict that token measures ± such as the Judicial Standards And Accountability Bill. Undoubtedly. Justice NirmalYadav is next in the line of legislative ire!
.or laws. µcorruption¶ has once again become a bad word in the lexicon of the aamaadmi. while other members of the committee shall be nominated by the incumbent C.