Indian Judiciary

BLOG- Indian Judiciary: Still a ray of hope or not?

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At the stroke of midnight when the new India had just begun to breathe, the rest of the world already decided the fate of our newly born nation. While India still was garnering the residuals we had in the name of “Bharat”, the whole world threw itself on bet that India is not going to survive as an independent nation and will collapse very soon but today, the same world has emerged as the eye-witness as to how this hopeless nation followed the brighter path and now facing the zenith of one of the most powerful and successful countries.

Similarly, walking up the same path as our nation did, there are many institutions that crumbled upon within short span of time but there was and is only one institution that we are extremely proud of and that is Indian Judiciary. Our nation is known for its highly independent and functional judiciary which has stood the test of time with a minor stooping. Having been recently in the news, the bold step took by four of the supreme court judges regarding some happenings that they found against the holiness of this institution, while their courage did not go down well with some people, the rest of them hailed it.

But amidst all the hassle, one thing primarily that was enough to create frowns over the heads of all, is that whether Indian Judiciary still stands high as a ray of hope or not? Has the time really come that Indian judiciary is now in terrible need of strengthening its roots all over again and on the top of it to maintain the pristine faith of its blind followers who see the judiciary as the most of the last resort when nothing goes in their favour. This question sounding so plenary is a matter of grave contemplation as unlike other institutions, the biggest asset of our Indian judiciary is the faith of its people which it can scarcely afford to lose. To answer this fundamentally concerning question as to whether judiciary still deserves our hopes to get restored, my answer would come positively in favour of this holy institution.

Indian Judiciary

As an institution, the Indian judiciary has always commanded considerable respect from the people of this country. Respect for the judiciary is part of the common man’s aspirations for maintaining the Rule of Law and building a just society.[1] Indian democracy consists of three wings of the government that is executive, legislature and our judiciary which particularly needs to be strongest one for the welfare of the country as well as for the preservation of our holy constitution as its guardian. There is no denying fact that the country what it means today, how it runs today is all because of the tireless efforts of our judiciary who from the start of the nation kept on walking the blood path when there was no light to it.

Undoubtedly, all the three wings contributed fairly towards the New India in making but it was judiciary all alone who taught the other two wings as to how doing right things in a right way stands more important than achieving the same through various other means. Today, all the three wings are vulnerable in various aspects in the eyes of the people, be it corruption or their hoax intentions to run the country currently as it should be.

But still when it comes to the fact that which of these institution still holds its inner conscience regarding their fundamental duty towards all of us and the country itself which is totally dependent upon these institutions as its pillars where none of it can afford a setback that too when India has come so far in its journey, judiciary wins the race with no competition at all with the rest of the two as now, this is no time to see who all are notorious or corrupt, but who is less one.

Tracing the long journey of our Indian judiciary, we have tip to toe long list where judiciary came as a saviour and prevented this nation going down in the hell of misery. Judiciary in its landmark decision[2] made the foundation of our nation rock solid by evolving the concept of Basic structure which lays down certain basic features of Indian constitution which forms the base of our country and which need not be substituted or touched for the sake of our nation’s existence.

This decision given after seeing the ferocious efforts of our legislature who was hell-bent to restructure the nation on its own beat. Now, pondering upon the situation contrary to  what presently prevails, had judiciary not laid down this concept, parliament would have re-written the constitution or as Mr. Mukul Rahtogi[3] says just think upon the situation where parliament would have come up with an amendment that from this amendment onwards, there would be no election and the current parliament would be the permanent one. If this would have been the reality, we would be living in an autocratic country rather than a democratic one.

Moving on to the next case where judiciary created a milestone in its own history by giving an extremely new supremacy to the fundamental rights guaranteed to all of us being the guardian in its true sense.[4]having many more in the list, be it Shahbano Begum case[5] where judiciary came out on the stage fearlessly to protect the rights of Muslim women, or wherein Olga Telis[6] case which was a milestone in the recognition of second-generation human rights, creating a new right that is “right to shelter” and thus working as a shield for the protection of our fundamental rights which is intrinsic to our very existence, without which we could not differ between a human and an animal.

The whole nation held its head high in honour of our judiciary when it made no difference between a common man and a prime-minister by summoning Mrs Indira Gandhi in the court and thus making it crystal clear to all the extremely important persons that equality is not something to be showcased only in our constitution, but it reflects in the reality too.[7]

Coming back to the recent times, where judiciary yet again made us its huge fan through its judgements over right to privacy and triple talaq in 2017, thus restoring our faiths back to them. Sometimes we don’t even realise how effectively our judiciary saves us from the high ambitions of the rest two wings which most of the time, undermine ours as well as our right’s existence. It is absolutely unfair to counter that judiciary does not have loopholes in it but which institutions is free form the same in the modern world, having known the problems institutions face is not a matter of concern, but the fact that there would come a day when justice would have left the place from where it used to be.

A judge of a subordinate judiciary when leaves his home, knows that today he has to deal with around 250 cases which is a herculean task if one takes. Having formulated the concept of Public Interest litigation, anyone now whether aggrieved or not can knock the door of a court to seek justice which has led to the flood that each high court receives at its doorstep every day and each PIL being equally important in nature though some being vague.

Moving on, one of the foremost problems our judiciary has is its economical services. India offers its litigants ease in terms of monetary aspect as compared to any other countries. For example, In United States of America, most of the people do not wish to go to the court for the reason of it being too expensive and thus generally go for out of court settlement which is totally absent in case of our judiciary system and India is the country where you could see every second person challenging each other to move them to the court even for very insignificant matters.

Indian judiciary also has given too many appeals to its citizens as a matter of right where none of the other countries do the same. Indian supreme court being the apex court and the last court of appeal deals with 80.000 cases in a year while on the other hand, a Unites States Supreme Court deals with only 80 per year. The hiatus shows how Indian court system is surviving inspite of all the problems it has.

Amidst all the ados that this institution now face, judiciary still knows how to manage its way to the justice what a common man hardly expects from the rest of the two wings. Somewhere deep down in our hearts, we all own up the very fact that no one would protect us and our existence as much as the judiciary does.

Hail Indian Judiciary!!!

References-

[1] The Indian judiciary in the 21st century Author(s): A.S. Anand Source: India International Centre Quarterly, Vol. 26, No. 3 (MONSOON 1999), pp. 61-78 Published by: India International Centre

[2] Keshavananda Bharti v. State of Kerela (1973) 4 SCC 225

[3] 14th Attorney General of India

[4] Maneka Gandhi v. Union of India 1978 AIR 597, 1978 SCR (2) 621

[5]Mohd. Ahmed Khan v. Shah Bano Begum And Ors 1985 SCR (3) 844

[6] Olga Tellis v. Bombay Municipal Corporation 1985 SCC (3) 545

[7] Indira Gandhi Nehru v. Raj Narain 1975 AIR 1590 1975 SCC (2) 159

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