According to reports, the Supreme Court has been turned into a fortress due to a bomb threat. But have the Hon'ble Judges wondered why bomb threats are given at all ? Is it because some sections of the public feel that injustice is being done to them ?
I believe that the judgments of the Supreme Court in the cases of Yakub Memon and Afzal Guru were incorrect, being based on very weak evidence ( mainly ' confessions ', and we all know how such ' confessions ' are obtained in our country ) and some ' recoveries ' ( which we all know are usually planted by the police ). I had posted several fb posts in this connection giving my reasoning, but no one listened to me.
I can understand the desire of some judges to be ''tough on terror ''. But that does not mean that they must convict, even if the evidence is weak. And it certainly does not mean they should behave like Judge Jeffries, ( the '' hanging '' Judge ) or like Roland Freisler. The desire to be populist undermines the detachment and objectivity required in the judicial function. Considerations like ' the collective conscience of the country ' ( the expression used by the Supreme Court in Afzal guru' case ) are clearly out of place.
I do not mean to say that the real,culprits should not be given harsh punishment. But the truth is that the real culprits are rarely caught, since the police does not know how to catch them, as policemen are not trained in scientific investigation, nor does it have the equipment for it. And yet the police is under pressure to solve the crime. So what does it do ? In bomb blast and terrorist cases it catches hold of half a dozen Muslims ( since Muslims are all terrorists and have nothing to do but throw bombs ), chargesheets them, and then manufactures evidence against them by getting ' confessions '', making ' discoveries ', etc, and often such weak and concocted evidence is believed by some populist judges who want to show that they are ' tough on terror '', and 'send a strong message ' in this connection. This has alienated a large section of Muslims in India, though Muslims are as patriotic as any other section of Indian society.
When a sitting Supreme Court Judge says publicly that the Bhagavad Gita should be compulsorily taught in all schools in india, what message is being sent ? Here is a judge who has taken oath to defend the secular Constitution, but is he upholding it ?
I have always been a very outspoken person, both in court and outside it. But I have never wanted any security in my 20 years as a Judge, because I believe that the real shield of a Judge is his integrity, objectivity and impartiality.
At Allahabad, Tamilnadu and Delhi where I was a judge, I used to go for long walks of 5 or 6 kms outside my residence. without any security guard, but I never received any threat. When I became Acting Chief Justice of Allahabad High Court in 2004 I saw a police pilot on motorcycle in front of my car, and a Gypsy with half a dozen armed policemen behind it, when I was going from my residence to the High Court. I told my secretary to tell these people that they should go away, as I did not need any security, but my secretary told me that I have no choice in the matter since under the rules the Chief Justice must have this security.
Some people told me that I have no fear of my security as i support Muslims. That is untrue. I support neither Hindus nor Muslims, nor Sikhs nor Christians. I support justice for all, irrespective of his/her religion, caste, language , race or region.
I have often been very critical of some backward practices among Muslims e.g. burqa and oral talaq, just as I have been very critical of some backward practices among Hindus e.g. casteism and looking down on dalits. So I am not trying to appease Muslims or anyone else. I am not in politics. I am not Owaisi. I do not want Muslim votes ( or Hindu votes ). If I oppose oppression or injustice to Muslims it is because I regard them as Indians, as much Indian as Hindus, and I am opposed too oppression of anyone, particularly a section of our own people.
So it is time for the Supreme Judges to introspect. Converting the Court premises into a fortress is no solution. A determined and clever terrorist can usually get through any defence. The judges should now start asking themselves : what was it that has angered a section of our people, did we create an impression that we act unfairly to Muslims and some others ? How can we correct ourselves and regain the confidence of the people ?