By Mike Ghouse*
Is the Indian judiciary accountable? The people of India have never questioned the authority of India's judiciary. Indeed, they are the only branch of government, who have not been examined for their role in upholding the constitution and the rule of law. It is the time one questions their lackadaisical attitude towards growing lawlessness in the nation and hold them accountable for their action.
What is holding the Supreme Court from rendering judgment, and bringing closure to the anti-Sikh genocide, Godhra burning, Gujarat massacre, Nellie massacre, uprooting of Kashmiri Pundits, Babri Masjid, and freedom of speech issues?
The silence of the state when the liberties of the citizens are trampled has gone unpunished. The Supreme Court can put an end to the catalytic nature of these unfortunate and tragic events.
Many things will be straightened if justice is delivered on a timely basis. If a concerted effort is made and the momentum is built to remind the Supreme Court to take their responsibility seriously, they can put an end to the fear that has grasped the nation.
The politicians, legislators and the administrators may be corrupt, but the judiciary has remained intact and is still free in India. The decisions by the apex court on the issues of LGTB, Sabarimala, Triple Talaq, and Babri Masjid are good examples, people have accepted their decision with protests but not violence. If we can hold the Supreme Court accountable for preserving the constitution and restoring justice, it will restitute hope to the hopelessness that is prevalent in India.
Dr Zafar Iqbal writes, “It is an unfortunate fact that many attempts were made to influence Supreme Court judges, still, compared to other institutions, the Indian Supreme Court's record is much better. The SCI is still the best hope we have. The venomous culture being supported and promoted by the people in power is spreading like metastatic cancer.”
Supreme Court is the last resort and defender of India's constitution, and if they can make bold decisions, they can restore sanity and the rule of law to India. The Supreme Court's role is to interpret the Constitution and serve as a check to the abuse of powers by the legislative and administrative branches of government. The judiciary is set up to be an independent body free from politicians and the bureaucrats.
India is a mature democracy when people decide to unseat a tyrant like Indira Gandhi, they have done it through the ballot. Not only Indira, but the Prime Ministers and Chief Ministers of India have honored the verdict of the people and have stepped down every time when they lost the elections, and respectfully handed the keys to the new person elected.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is no exception; he is one of the most attacked politicians of India, perhaps more than the combined attacks on all Prime Ministers. His biggest mistake is his inability to speak up when bad things happen in the nation. Since it is a pattern with him throughout the ordeals of rapes, lynching, murders, and harassment; one is inclined to think if there was merit in Sanjiv Bhatt’s statement that Modi let the goons have three days to finish killing as many Muslims as they could in a supposed revenge spree in Gujarat.
Modi is not dumb, he can boldly speak out against miscreants that the rule of law would be applied to all those who lynch, harass, and rape, and will be punished severely. No murderer and rapist will get a ticket from his party to contest the elections. He knows he has the power and if he uses for good governance, it will substantially subside the cow vigilantes, lynching’s, rapes and murders and felicitation of criminals.
Holding the Prime Minister accountable is the right thing to do. After all, it is the government of the people by the people for the people. Everyone is responsible in a democracy. Thank God, the era of dictators, kings, and tyrants is gone.
Thanks to the Indian media, the first saviour of democracy, for protecting your rights to be free to pursue life, liberty, and happiness. Thanks to the “Indian Express”, the “Times of India” and the “Hindu” newspapers for standing up against the bullying by Indira Gandhi during her infamous emergency rule. The editor heroes went to jail instead of temporary protection that comes with sycophancy or silence.
Now that awakening has come back, and we see the emergence of new heroes in the wire, squint, and other media outlets. They will be the new saviours of our freedom, and we need to celebrate them. Judiciary is a critical part of the governance if we write about the cavalier attitudes of the judiciary, things will start changing for the better. I welcome any criticism of the judiciary and solutions to go with them.
*Public speaker, author, interfaith wedding officiant, executive director of the Center for Pluralism in Washington, DC. Click HERE for more
Published at Counterview - https://www.counterview.net/2018/12/why-is-supreme-court-failing-to-decide.html