All the people who are worried about the independence of Judiciary in a system that has been established under the Constitution; and all those people who people believe that the current regime is undermining the judicial independence, there is a serious question to be considered, whether the hype and the drama that has focused the Supreme Court serves as a prelude to the poll battle of 2019.
We have all been witnessing the bizarre turn of events after a flawed judgement in the Loya case, and is now stuck on the appointment of Chief Justice KM Joseph of the Uttarakhand High Court as a judge of the Supreme Court.
The Judiciary, per se is not being undermined in the general opinion. The author has this belief backed with the opinion of the famous jurist Fali Nariman, who said that the government was well within its purview to return the recommendation of Justice Joseph, while the appointment of Ms. Indu Malhotra was approved.
It is true that these systems are governed by conventions and not by laws, as they ensure the independence of judiciary. The current regime tried to push the NJAC bill, so as to bring the appointments under the purview of the elected governments, but then, the SC struck it down. It may be said that the government is trying to give the judiciary some tough time over the appointments, but in this case, if the collegium, that comprises of CJI Misra, Justice(s) Chelameshwar, Gogoi and Kurian Joseph, returns the name of CJ Joseph, then that will be a final word, because the Judiciary has the final say. If, after the re-affrimation by the Collegium, the government tries to interfere in his appointment, then that deserves to evaluated. Moreover, the government has also provided reasons for questioning the recommendation.
The matter of impeaching the CJI over whims and fantasies of some leaders from the Opposition, as well does not warrant much of attention as it was a simple move aimed to gather political mileage. The Congress, which has its own record of meddling with the judiciary, has been trying to portray itself as the torchbearer of the democracy, which is not well suited. There are host of other issues which might be used to corner the government other than such illusory issues that do not exist.
The media is giving the issue undue publicity while they should be focusing on the real issues like unemployment, healthcare, and social reforms that are the need of the hour, among others.
There is not a real crisis over the independence of the judiciary, and the government cannot demean the Constitutional institutions so easily, because, it may be a possibility that the 2019 elections throw BJP into oblivion, which makes all the officers of the President discharging their duties free from all sorts of political pressures.
This is the prelude to the poll war of 2019. Having said so, the sole reason remains, that the Congress, is unable to unearth any scams so far, the pro-people (the author may have opinions to the contrary) and economic initiatives have support from the people. With the North-East voting for BJP and the Karnataka in the poll fray, lack of issues, and the Congress’ divide and rule tactic has further aggravated its divine right to the rule India.
The Independence of Judiciary in danger, and faulty EVMs, only aim to project Narendra Modi as a dictator in the making, which may help the Congress carve some space for itself in the political discourse. Thus, the exercise of abusing the Judiciary for political advantages must be brought to an end immediately.
This further makes the author wonder whether the Opposition and particularly Congress believes in the mantle of Rahul Gandhi, or it is a mere credulous show of panic by them and a stunt to reach out to people.
The freedom of institutions is a well thought of agenda, but needs certain well conceived methods of challenging the same under the Narendra Modi regime. The BJP or the Congress, both have the same agenda, and they have made the people suffer in theirown ways so far. While trying to gain power in 2019, they must ensure that they don’t demean the institutions established by the force of law, and alienate the citizens from the law.