“The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) told Chandigarh trial court on December 24 that it wanted to close the case it was investigating against Justice Nirmal Yadav of the Punjab and Haryana High Court not because it was convinced of her innocence, but because the government and the Chief Justice of India refused to grant it sanction to prosecute her”
This is the first paragraph of Headlines of today’s newspaper (Hindustan Times, New Delhi, January 8, 2010 edition) ‘CBI hands tied against judge’. Last few years, especially with the advent of new millennium has seen the judicial hyper-activism in India which aptly established the Judiciary and backbone of Indian democracy. However, in the pursuit of becoming the backbone does Indian Judiciary forgot the termites within it?
There are more than 30 million pending cases in Indian courts; many of them are for more than 30 years. It takes more than 10 years to liquidate a company and in many cases a rape victim gets justice (or whatever left of it) only after becoming a senior citizen. And to add on this there is corruption in the judiciary itself.
It would be myth to say corruption in judiciary is a new phenomenon which got accelerated only after liberalization of economy. It would be debatable to say whether such corruption got accelerated after opening up of the economy. However unanimous agreement is that it is there and has being there for long.
Any common man like us, who has dealt scores of Law Enforcement Agencies, knows what it is like there. How Mahatma Gandhi keeps smiling in every hands it passes through; how virtues of that man, printed on note, is shared. But it is really of recent phenomenon that these are coming into light.
Justice Dinakaran is accused of amassing wealth, Justice Nirmal Yadav is accused of taking bribes and forgery, R. Vasudevan of Company Law Board is mired in a corruption case and this is only a tip of iceberg. There are many to be dug up, many to be discovered. And still a lot stink to be raised.
But here in this given case where government and Chief Justice could have acted to stem the rot they chose otherwise. Approval of Government and Chief Justice is required to implicate a Judge. They refused the same. Will this termite be allowed to last?
© Tarun Mitra