Wednesday 8 June 2016

What the Indian judiciary can do

I have expressed my view that the Indian judiciary is beyond redemption, because of the massive arrears ( 33 million cases ), long delays in finally disposing off cases, corruption ( which has seeped up even into part of the higher judiciary, etc. Hence no amount of tinkering with the system can bring about any substantial improvement.

 However, what the Judiciary, or at least the higher judiciary, i.e. Supreme Court and High Court, can do, is to  help the country in its transition from a feudal society to a modern one. India is presently passing through a painful transitional period in its history, and everyone, including the judiciary, must help get over this transition.

 This the judiciary can do by projecting modern ideas, and striking at feudal, backward practises e.g. caste system, honour killing, dowry deaths, communalism, khap panchayats,superstitions, etc.

  Examples of this are the judgments mandating death penalty for honour killing, treating it to be in the category of ' rarest of rare cases ' vide Arumugam Servai vs. State of Tamilnadu
Bhagwan Dass vs State (Nct) Of Delhi on 9 May, 2011
Honour killings: Supreme Court says those who kill for honour deserve death sentence
In Satya Narain Tiwari vs. State of U.P., 2010 ( see online ) a bench of which I was a member said that death sentence should be given in the case of dowry death
 In Lata Singh vs. State of U.P.( 2006 ) we upheld the right of a major girl to marry whomever she wished, irrespective of his caste or religion, and irrespective of the wishes of the parents.
 In Mohamed Gani vs. Superintendent of Police, Writ Petition 5202/1998 (decided on 14.7.2005) a division bench of the Madras High Court, of which I was a member upheld the right of Muslims to take their dead bodies through a public street, saying this India was a secular country.

 Unfortunately not all judges are of this thinking. Thus in P.M. Bhargava vs. UGC ( 2004 ) the Supreme Court upheld the introduction of astrology ( which in my opinion is pure superstition and humbug ) by the UGC as a subject for study in our Universities

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