Rebellion in Supreme Court of India

Mutiny in Supreme Court of India.

12th January 2012 is a historic day when 4 sitting judges of Supreme Court (J. Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, MB Lokur and Kurian Joseph) held a press conference and told the nation that they have differences of opinion with master of rolls i.e. Chief Justice of India Sh. Dipak Misra. Justice Chelameswar, when asked “Should CJI be impeached?” his reply was that let nation decide.

Appointment of Judges

India is the only country in the World where Government has almost no control over appointment of judges. Judges appoint judges. Nepotism is shamelessly rampant. Since these are senior most judges, they have more at stake. They are the appointing authority is a collegium alongwith CJI who appoint judges. All media reports overlook this fact.

Aggrieved judges did not mention about the reasons for approaching the press but have only mentioned vaguely about issues. On enquiry it was replied that it they were concerned about listing of a case relating to death of Justice Loya of Maharashtra High Court.

Ordinarily the disputes among judges should be decided by themselves in Full Court meetings. Why could these judges not raise the issue in Full Court Meeting? What about view of remaining 20 or so judges? Continue reading

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Requiem to Y. K. Sabharwal, allegedly corrupt ex Chief Justice of India

Eulogy to a judge who imposed Martial Law in Delhi in 2006

Mid Day expose of Y K Sabharwal

Y. K. Sabharwal (Yogesh Kumar Sabharwal) was a name I became familiar with when I had started my career as a junior lawyer with a government counsel. Yesterday Y. K. Sabharwal passed away and would be cremated in a short while. Every person has many personas and different people remember a person differently. I have my remembrance about Justice Sabharwal.  Continue reading

System of judges appointing judges!

THE NATIONAL JUDICIAL APPOINTMENTS COMMISSION ACT, 2014

A constitution bench of Supreme Court of India is hearing the challenge to the validity of NJAC Act, 2014. In doing so they were not discreet about the fact that judges are the interested parties. The arguments far from being adversarial have been turned into inquisitive enquiry as is apparent by the line of questioning by the judges. It appears that judges are evaluating as to which system is best. The earlier system where executive appointed the judges and grossly abused the position or the present system of in which judges themselves appoint the judges and which is apparently full of nepotism as nearly a 1/5th of all the judges appointed in high courts and supreme court is related to a previous judge. Living or dead. Unfortunately the question of nepotism was not raised by Attorney General with empirical data. At least news papers did not report it. The present system has come under flak from retired judges themselves. One such criticism of judges appointing judges is here. Regarding the corruption by the relatives of judges and inaction by appointing judges read here. Another similar story about corruption is here. Another report about rich relatives of former Chief Justice of India is here. How retired judges are using prefix ‘Justice’ forever i.e. even after demitting the office is another mystery in the face of express prohibition in Constitution. But who can judge the judges?

Any how, the line of enquiry by court in NJAC case is similar to the substantive due process arguments in the USA and is very delicate. It would be wise to tread on this line carefully. In my view court can not lay down the policy of appointment or evaluate a better one. Rather has only to see if the one propounded before it does not deviate from overall scheme of Constitution and thus does not violate basic structure of constitution. Of course it can judicially review it on all other available grounds like arbitrariness etc.

What is similar between India, Pakistan and Mynamar?

It is unfortunate that system of appointment of judges by judges finds similarity with two quasi totalitarian or  totalitarian  countries where military appoints military and the Government has no say and people have no right to know anything about it.

Continue reading

A new trend in judicial dishonesty!

The fact that Corruption is rampant in India is no more a matter of debate but is a matter of fact. Judiciary is equally affected by corruption as any other sector. Almost every Chief Justice of India, who has retired in past decade or so was subsequently alleged to have abused his position to favour friends and relatives. This month celebrates anniversary of judicial Martial Law imposed by then Chief Justice Y K Sabharwal, in respect of commercial/office use of properties while his own children were using his official residence as registered offices of their newly formed companies. This was subsequently revealed by press alongwith the information that the sons of Subharwal made billions from the horror created by his orders. I was also a victim but that tale can wait another time.
Here is a problem of another kind. Continue reading

Strike by lawyers and STRIKE by JUDGES! Nobody is corrupt or Hypocrite in India.

Law Books in Shelf.

                             Image © Sandeep Bhalla

Strike by lawyers is illegal in India:

Supreme court of India has held, in its various judgment, that strike of work by lawyers is illegal. No Bar Council or Bar Association can call for strike and if it does, disobedience shall not be misconduct. Further client can claim compensation from lawyer if he suffers due to strike. It appears that this rule do not apply to Lawyers after they become judge.

STRIKE by JUDGES!

This is about Punjab & Haryana High Court In India. On 19.11.2004 it was reported by The Hindu as under:

“The Shivalik hills, where Karoran village is situated, have highly erodable soil and constitute one of the most fragile ecosystems in the country. As overgrazing and mutilation by the villagers would cause soil erosion, which would lead to floods and consequently failure of crops in the plains, closure of the hills under the Indian Forest Act by declaring them a forest area was considered. The Punjab Land Preservation Act (PLPA), 1900, is an instance of State legislation that imposes suitable restrictions on the use of the hills for non-forest purposes. The Central law, the Forest Conservation Act, 1980, was enacted to check further deforestation and consequent ecological imbalance.
The Bench found that the land “owned” by Sandhu and his family and the companies floated by them were part of the total area of 3,700 acres (1,480 ha) of Karoran village notified under the PLPA. Despite this unambiguous status of the land, Sandhu went on “owning” the land by asserting that it was agricultural land as per revenue records. The Bench revealed how on a single day, June 28, 1995, the records were changed to show the ownership of the land in favour of Sandhu and his associates. (Source url: http://www.flonnet.com/fl2123/stories/20041119003303800.htm)

Thus the court ordered closure of Golf Course. Some of judges were also given membership of the club. It included some High Court Judges. On April 2, 2004, Chief Justice Roy issued notices to the two judges, Justice Viney Mittal and Justice Virender Singh, who had accepted ‘ex-officio’ membership of the resort, they went on mass leave with 23 more judges. Justice Singhvi was the Senior most judge after Chief Justice. Continue reading