I find it very imperative to clarify a couple of doubts pertaining to the last piece on this blog. Despite of my admiration for Mr. Kamra, I was not, and am not, willing to entertain the idea that the Supreme Court, in its entirety, is a supreme joke. The essence of the very point I was trying to make is that the condemnation of the court has to be warranted, fair and bona fide. It is well agreed that the confidence of the common people in the Apex court has receded significantly in recent past due to numerous decisions and centre-supportive tenure of few judges. But then the condemnation of a judge is not the same as the condemnation of the Judiciary. Questionable decisions and stances of judges ought not go uncriticised but how come questionable decision by a few judges warrant us to heavily criticise the entire Judiciary so as to call all of them a joke? Believe me, a great many of the judges are still standing for equal and substantive justice saving only a certain few. Even by scientific standards, pressure of the people has to be applied at the correct and exact point to ensure that the pressure is maximum. Look the end I propose is the same as the one proposed by Mr. Kamra, but differences occur in the means. And the reason why I am writing this very piece is because the inner being of mine, as of now, is perpetually tending to focus on the end instead of the means and it is inflated with a number of questions that I want to put forth in this piece. The fundamental question which must be, and indeed is being, posed to the court as of now are- What about the situation of people like Mr. Varavara Rao, Mr. Siddique Kappan and ors.?
A Supreme Court bench headed by CJI S.A. Bobde adjourned, today, the habeas corpus petition for the release of Kerala Journalist Siddique Kappan. Just to provide an insight of Mr. Kappan’s detention in this short piece- the said journalist was detained by the Uttar Pradesh police, along with three others, on 5th october while heading towards Hathras for reporting the unfortunate matter of the alleged rape and murder of a 19 year old lady. The journalists have been charged under a very strict anti-terror legislation, namely the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), and are currently under custody. What remains most disturbing aspect of the entire detention is the fact that Mr. Kappan has been denied permission to meet, even virtually, his lawyers and family members. Just a week after the Supreme Court bench of Chandrachud J. and Banerjee J., intervened and granted interim-bail to Arnab Goswami in a matter pertaining to abetment of suicide, another bench of the court headed by CJI Bobde adjourned the hearings to 20th november, thereby delaying the grant of interim-bail to Mr. Kappan. Interestingly, while hearing Arnab’s interim relief plea, the said matter was brought to the awareness of the bench by Mr. Kapil Sibal (the learned counsel for Maharashtra government in Arnab’s matter and also the learned counsel for petitioners in Mr. Kappan’s matter), to which their lordship responded with silence. This adjournment by CJI has, within hours of its passing, drawn major criticism from people around the country. It remains a very disheartening thing to hear for me and all the right minded countrymen who cry for swift relief to Mr. Kappan as well. I do reckon that the nature of detentions in both the aforesaid matters are very different for they pertain to different offences and charges. Be that as it may, the question that I would rightfully ask is- could not have the court acted a bit more swiftly, pari passu to Arnab’s matter? Also, what does the silence of Justices Chandrachud and Banerjee (mentioned above) means? All these questions need to be rightfully and fearlessly asked and further answered. If these questions go unanswered, then it would further recede the already-receded confidence of the people in the justice dispensation system. I remember a befitting Lord Denning saying:
Justice must be rooted in confidence; and confidence is destroyed when right-minded people go away thinking: the judge was biased.Lord Denning