Chief Justice T. S. Thakur Fumes As Namo Turns Blind Eye To Woes Of Judiciary

Chief Justice T. S. Thakur has been relentlessly pursuing the issue of appointment of Judges with the Government.

The statistics are alarming. As of March 2016, there are 48,418 civil cases pending in the Supreme Court and 31,16,492 civil cases pending in the High Court. The cases pending in the lower Courts have reached an incalculable level. In addition to the civil cases, there are innumerable criminal cases pending where under-trials are languishing in custody. On an average, it takes several decades for a matter to reach finality.

This sorry state of affairs is because the Government is dragging its feet in giving its approval to the names suggested by the Collegium to be appointed as Judges.

Court rooms locked for want of judges

The situation has now reached such absurd limits that the Court rooms are having to be locked for want of judges to hear cases.

The ET reported that in the Karnataka High Court, several court rooms are shut because out of a sanctioned strength of 62 judges, only 26 judges have been appointed.

This is insult to injury. The sanctioned strength is itself very low if one goes by the ideal judge to population ratio. Matters are made worse by the fact that even the vacancies in sanctioned strength are not filled up. As of date, there are 478 vacancies for judges in the High Courts.

Chief Justice T. S. Thakur in tears …

Chief Justice T. S. Thakur has not spared a single occasion to draw the attention of the Government to the woes of the judiciary and the agony of the public in having to wait endlessly for justice.

At the recently held conference of Chief Ministers and Chief Justices, Chief Justice Thakur became emotional and broke down at the abject apathy of the Government in the matter of appointment of judges.

… But Government is unmoved

However, the Chief Justice’s emotional outburst left Prime Minister Narendra Modi unmoved. Instead, he dismissed the issue in a light-hearted manner.

Deafening silence in Independence day speech

In his Independence Day speech, the Hon’ble Prime Minister spoke of all sundry issues concerning the development of the Country. However, he maintained a deafening silence on the woes plaguing the judiciary.

This did not go down well with Chief Justice Thakur. He publicly criticized the Government and expressed the view that he is disappointed at the fact that the Government is not showing any seriousness towards resolving the problem.

You heard our very popular and nationalist (deshapriya) Prime Minister speak for one and-a-half hours today. You also heard (the) Union Law Minister speak. I was also hoping justice will find a mention (in the speech). They will talk about appointment of judges,” the Chief Justice said.

The Chief Justice also recited a couplet in Urdu to underline the problems faced by the judiciary. “Gul phenkein auron par, balki samar bhi. ae abr-e-karam ae bahre sakha kuch to idhar bhi (you have strewn flowers and thrown fruits in others’ direction but I am waiting here as well),” he said.

Threat of judicial intervention

The learned Chief Justice also sent a not-so-veiled warning to the Government that the judiciary would be “forced to interfere to break the deadlock” if the Government continued to drag its feet.

Don’t try to bring this institution to a grinding halt. We won’t tolerate a logjam in judges’ appointment. It is stifling judicial work. We will fasten accountability now. Why is there mistrust? If this logjam continues, we will be forced to interfere judicially. We will ask for every file that was sent to you by the Collegium,” the learned Chief Justice said while hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) on the issue of appointment of judges.

Criticism

The unseemly public confrontation between the Government and the judiciary has not gone down well with some eminent citizens.

Justice (Retd) Markandey Katju opined that the problems between the Government and the Judiciary are best discussed within four walls and should not be aired in public. However, other eminent personalities supported the outburst on the basis that there is very little option left in the light of the Government’s intransigence on the issue.

Judical time wasted on frivolous issues?

Some leading citizens have expressed the view that the higher judiciary is wasting its resources by focusing on non-essential and frivolous issues. They opined that questions as to what should be the height of the Dahi Handi, what should be the age of the participants in the Dahi handi, how cricket should be played, whether Dance Bars should be allowed etc are administrative issues that are best left to the Government to handle and cannot be decided by the higher judiciary.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley also openly criticized what he calledjudicial overreach” and “the judiciary’s obsession to control everything”.

Eminent Jurist Upendra Baxi called the apex court “an institution of governance”.

Government promises to get its act together

Hon’ble Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has promised to address the problems identified by Chief Justice T. S. Thakur. He assured that the appointment of judges would go ahead irrespective of whether the new Memorandum of Procedure (MoP) governing the process was in place or not.


19 comments on “Chief Justice T. S. Thakur Fumes As Namo Turns Blind Eye To Woes Of Judiciary
  1. UDAY says:

    It is pathetic situation that TWO of the pillars of Democracy in loggerhead with other to leave the general Public at large is suffering for which these Basic and constitutional Institutions are framed and supposed to function.

    Each coming day is going to add to make the situation bad to worst.

    With due regards and respect – at-least for the sake of Democracy, the Society Pray with folded hands to the Authorities to find the solution at the earliest.

    Let us accept the fact that there is some Good and some bad points on each side, which is to be synchronized & streamlined amicably. Else it will not harmful only to the concern institution BUT to the Nation as whole.

  2. waghela b.s. says:

    Very Good suggestion worth considering.

  3. A.V.Rao says:

    Firstly, in all the courts cases are admitted without proper hearing at the admission stage. Then they remain pending for decades adding up to unwarranted workload. A thorough examination of the case at the time of admission can work as a preventive measure.
    Secondly, many cases wherein the issue is covered by the same High Court or Supreme Court’s order are also kept pending till they grow sufficiently old and become ripe for fixation of final hearing which takes decades. When an issue is already decided by the jurisdiction High Court or Supreme Court, then, why similarly placed citizens should not get benefit of early justice and why should they wait for decades just to say that their case is covered. No doubt, it is not possible for court to comb all the cases to find out covered cases. For that the High Court and Supreme Court should issue a notification asking the petitioners or respondents to point out if their case is covered along with citation and then dispose their case early. This will go a long way in diluting the huge work load and judges get blessings of crores of citizens suffering mental agony looking for fixation of their case for final hearing. In this way many citizens get justice during their life time and give their blessing to judges.

  4. 27 Months gone. FIRed Accused Mr Narendra Modi least interested even getting judicial Clean Chit for self. And, he is Prime minister while Chief Justices of India done nothing to expedite this case.

  5. Rajesh Bhardwaj says:

    Sir, I remember as Chairman/ members of Income tax Settlement Commission we had meeting with then FM Shri Chidambaram and he instructed that each bench of ITSC on average will dispose off one ” old” ( pre 2007) case per day and strict monitoring through RS was done by him. The result was, inspite of resistance by some members in ITSC, the disposal of ” old” cases ( in which applicants had virtually given up hope that their ” old” cases will be ever be disposed off by ITSC – some even requesting that their case be decided against them!!! ) went up diametrically . Some thing like this has to be done by Hon. CJI for each court in India . There will be some resistance from within judiciary and outside ( legal fraternity thriving on delay , adjournments etc) but he has to stand firm like Shri Chidambaram and monitor disposal of ” old” cases personally. Of course vacancies of judges should be filled up fast, long vacations in courts be done away with and all orders of all courts be uploaded on the net ( getting certified copy of order is not an easy task). Instead of wringing our hands in desperation, let’s start somewhere to reduce backlog of ” old” cases.

  6. Upper Castes Males Dominated Judiciary Created Extra-Constitutional Authority Collegium for Own Welfare. They Protected Corrupt and Criminal Big-Wigs & Hit Poor below the Belt. Now, #JokerJudgeTSThakur, Beneficiary of Corrupted System Sheds Crocodile Tears.

  7. b.s.waghela says:

    All these problems are mainly created by the Judiciary and now they are blaming the Executive. Even before some years even the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singhji had advised the Supreme Court to remain within their limits and avoid judicial activism. Recently the Executive had requested the SC to refer National Judicial Accountability Act to the larger Bench of 7 Judges, but they humiliated the AG. Now they are forced to swallow their own medicines. It is to be noted that the SC can pass orders, but implementation is with the Executive. SC has time to hear Subroto Rai case frequently, Ganga River, Dahi Handi etc. cases but they cannot find time to hear serious cases ? What Narendra Modi Govt. is doing is right ; let the Chief Justice lock up some Benches. WHY THE CHIEF JUSTICE IS NOT SEEKING PERSONAL APPOINTMENT WITH NARENDRA MODI AND SORT OUT THE PROBLEMS ACCROSS THE TABLE ? Perhaps Ego of judicial Independence is coming in the way.

  8. V N KULKARNI says:

    WE WANT SPEEDY JUSTICE DELIVERED.BE FIRM ON THAT.FIND THE MAIN CULPRIT WHO APPLIES DELAYING TACTICS AND SUCCEEDS IN PROLONGING THE MATTERS.
    MAKE CERTAIN ORDERS ON WHICH THERE SHOULD BE NO APPEAL.SEE THAT JUDICIARY REMAINS FIRM ON NOT GIVING DATES AFTER DATES TO DELAY THE JUSTICE.

  9. Kishor Satwick says:

    This is another exam why Judiciary is losing it’s respect in the eyes of majority of common man.

    “Insaniyat (Humanity), Jamhuriyat (Democracy) and Kashmiriyat”

    It does not require much of a brain to understand that trouble in Kashmir is a pure act of terrorism unleashed by the secessionist elements within the country with massive help from across border, namely Pakistan. The Valley has been on the boil since the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani on July 8, with clashes between protesters and security forces claiming 55 lives and leaving scores injured. This unrest has to be dealt with militarily.

    Vajpayee mantra of “Insaniyat (humanity), Jamhuriyat (Democracy) and Kashmiriyat” invoked by PM Narendra Modi was in a different context. However, it was conveniently perceived as a criticism of security forces by the enemy within comprising of liberals, secessionists, etc.

    The worst is that our Hon’ble Supreme Court wants the security forces to fight secessionist movements with humane approach. The bench of Justices P C Ghose and Amitava Roy while hearing a plea by the J & K State made the observation: “There must be a humane approach towards the problem and it is now missing. People should be treated with love and affection but it is lacking at present and it must be ensured by the government”.

    A Srinagar court had directed the SSP to lodge an FIR and initiated contempt proceedings against him for not complying with its order, which was upheld by the J&K HC. The lower court had issued NBW against the SSP and he was arrested and brought before the court. The court referred the matter to the HC to initiate contempt proceedings, prompting the state to rush to the SC. Appearing for the state, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi refuted the allegation that police had killed the youth at his home and told the bench that he was hit when forces opened fire to control a violent crowd of protesters. He said a police officer could not be prosecuted for taking such action.

    AG Mukul Rohatgi brought to the notice of the Supreme Court that the medical certificate indicates that the deceased only had one entry wound, which totally negates the allegation that he was shot from point-blank range. He further submitted that in case the deceased was shot, as alleged, from a point-blank range, the bullet would have left an exit wound as well. AG Mukul Rohatgi rightfully said “A balance is required to be maintained between the armed forces and local population. There would be huge ramifications if a police officer is prosecuted in such cases and FIRs would be lodged every day against armed forces in the state”.

    The nation as a whole is disturbed by the unwarranted observations of the SC. This is the language used by supporters of the secessionists and Huriyat members on TV debates, that security forces should not use pellet guns, they should use ‘lathis’ and capture terrorists and secessionists alive and try them in the court of law, etc. etc. As it is India has been under attack from liberals, communists, ‘intolerance’ brigade, dubious NGOs funded by outside Governments/NGOs, progressive intellectuals, sanctimonious seculars, presstitutes, et el.

    By advising the security forces to adopt ‘humane’ approach, the Hon’ble Supreme Court has unfortunately lent support to the language used by the supporters of secessionists. Shabnam Lone and Mattu were quite violent on Times Now, News Hour on 09/08/2016 at 09.00pm, perhaps taking a cue from Supreme Court’s observations. Opposition Leaders were busy playing politics after getting a booster dose from such observations. Major General (Retd) G D Bakshi was understandably looking sad on the show by these developments.

    If terror has no religion, the arsonist has no age and sex. World over, it is trite in military doctrine that the only harmless terrorist/arsonist is a dead terrorist/arsonist, of course, unless his body is not bobby trapped.

    If Ajmal Kasab had not been captured alive, enemy within would have ‘convincingly’ sold the story that 26/11 was the RSS handiwork. In fact, a book named“26/11 : RSS ki Sazish” written by Aziz Burney (Editor-in-Chief of Urdu Sahara newspaper) was released byCongress General Secretary Digvijay Singh on Dec 6, 2010 in Delhi. The book talks about the hand of RSS and Hindutva element behind 26/11 Mumbai Attacks. And who knows, with cooked up evidences and political opportunism, RSS Chief, RSS office bearers and various Hindu Leaders from BJP, etc. would have been incarcerated for 26/11!?

    However, since the Hon’ble Supreme Court has made the said observations, I request the concerned bench of the Hon’ble Supreme Court to lay down guidelines regarding how exactly the security forces can deal with these elements with ‘humane approach’. Alternatively, whenever and wherever such unrest takes places, the Hon’ble CJI should depute the Hon’ble Judges of the Supreme Court to lead the security forces from the front to placate these secessionists, anarchists and terrorists elements with ‘humane approach’. This will also be in line with what Hon’ble CJI T S Thakur had said on 06/06/2016 thatthe judiciary intervenes only when the executive fails in its constitutional duties.

    Military operations to preserve the security and integrity of the nation cannot be dictated from the Court Premises.

  10. K C Thaker says:

    With whatever shortcomings of judges appointing judges (most notable being related persons getting better chance to get appointed), the fact of the matter is that it has not impacted the quality of justice delivery and the higher judiciary still is the most credible go-to institution or the last hope/resort for securing justice. Largely, this institution has not failed people rather helped and protected people from hostile regimes/politicians and executives/bureaucracy.

    If however the final say in this matter is transferred to the executive and that too the current one, god save the country. Rule of law will be history. The final outcome would be chaos as the justice can be obtained not from courts but from the power that one wields. It would be sure recipe for ultimate disintegration of the nation.
    I would urge the judges manning the judiciary not to yield ground on this crucial aspect in the larger public interest and for the good of the nation.

    It is true that some brilliant judicial personalities did not reach the Apex Court (notable Kabir-Bhattachrya controversy) and it was the nation’s loss. The judges need to devise system to see that nothing comes in the way of the best available reaching the higher judiciary. personal prejudices must not have any room or role in such matters.

  11. Kishor Satwick says:

    Recently the Supreme Court was seen passing decisions on how Dahi Handi, a Hindu festival, should be celebrated. On the pretext that the human pyramids were dangerous, SC went on to prescribe the maximum height of the pyramid, and even proposed a condition which was impossible to ensure compliance with: restricting participation by people below the age of 18.

    Considering how wide an ambit today’s Supreme Court has, and being a law abiding citizen, I wish that I worship My Lords in the sky without breaking any laws, hence I make this appeal to My Lords on earth:

    A shriphal’s total height,

    The lumens in a diya,

    Is the kalash alright?

    Tell me, oh SC dear!

    How much pushp should I use?

    Which genera and species?

    I am extremely obtuse,

    Oh SC, tell me please!

    The greenness of a betel,

    And radius of its nut,

    How should agarbathi smell?

    Oh SC, tell me that!

    Powderiness of haldi,

    And roundness of laddoo,

    What viscosity of ghee?

    SC, please give a clue!

    The distance from the murti,

    That I can stand and pray!

    What Kelvin should be aarti?

    Would SC deign to say?

    If apples are expensive,

    Will bananas suffice?

    I hope it’s not offensive,

    SC, what’s your advice?

    When enjoying (dry) Holi,

    What RGBs to use?

    During (silent) Diwali,

    What dB is abuse?

    Those daandiyas, by the way

    What is their legal size?

    How much, in grams, should they weigh?

    Oh SC, make me wise!

    Without going to and fro,

    Let me ask you outright,

    As a Hindu can I grow,

    To more than 5 feet height?

    ……. Bhavesh Kansara.

    • M Sheth says:

      BHAVESH KANSARA, WHAT A SARCASTIC POEM ?
      NJAC sud b respected. It is the only legislation passed unanimously by both houses of Parliament and all Assemblies of Indian States !! Such unanimous opinion of people of India sud b respected.

  12. Jatin says:

    If the Judiciary so much burdened.. why don’t CJI cancels the Summer leaves of two months..

  13. v.,s. aiyar says:

    Supreme Court banned diesel vehicles in New Delhi saying that it will pollute the city. Later on the Supreme Court passed an order allowing the diesel vehicles on condition that a cess of 1% is paid to the Government. Does that mean the 1% cess will result in the diesel vehicle becoming non-polutant? Jaitley was afraid that the Supreme Court wants to interfer in the taxation of power of State. This is one example where the fear is turning true

  14. v.,s. aiyar says:

    The Hon.ble Chief Justice must be knowing the reasons for Modiji’s silence on the issue of judges. It appears SC wants its way and the Government and Parliament wanted its way. Supreme Court can condemn or criticize anybody, but vice versa is not possible. In the circumstances a wise man will not open his mouth.

  15. Vinupn says:

    If judges wanted their favourites only as judges in Supreme Court and Highcourts, why they should blame Namo. What happened to the sealed cover submitted by Shri Santhi Bhooshan regarding corrupt Chief Justices of India. Anybody opened that cover?

  16. Ashwani Joshi says:

    Hobble CHI Sir,The politicians never tell the truth to public.They do what’s beneficial for them. There are so much failure. I need not tell your honour.Its in your knowledge

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