RSTV SUMMARY 24th APRIL

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By admin April 24, 2019 21:02

The Big Picture – Conspiracy against Judiciary

The Supreme Court called the Directors of the Intelligence Bureau (IB), the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Delhi Police Commissioner to look into the material furnished by lawyer Utsav Bains in support of his allegations in the framing of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi in a false sexual harassment case. A bench comprising Justice Arun Mishra, Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman and Justice Deepak Gupta met all the three officers in their chambers. The Apex Court asked Bains to file an additional affidavit to substantiate his allegation that three disgruntled employees of the Supreme Court conspired along with corporate lobbyists to frame sexual harassment allegations against the CJI. After the hearing, Justice Mishra dictated the order, asking for another affidavit by Bains regarding his allegations against the sacked employees. The Court also said that it will decide the issue if privilege can be claimed over the communications between Bains and the alleged conspirators. The bench also clarified that this will not affect the pending inquiry by the in-house panel.

 

What is the case in the court?

  • Though it cannot be definitely said that there exists a controversy, this is the third CJI against whom allegations have been levelled.
  • There are two parts of the case
  1. allegations levelled against the CJI, Ranjan Gogoi by the Supreme Court employee which is being dealt by a committee led by S A Bobde
  2. allegation levelled by the advocate Bains in his affidavit filed before the Supreme Court.
  • In the recent proceedings, the SC has made it clear that the proceedings do not have any relation to the enquiry committee led by Bobde.
  • The proceedings are limited to ensuring that there is no attempt to destabilize the judiciary, whether there was an attempt to force the CJI to resign and whether there was a conspiracy between the dismissed SC employees and advocates to frame the CJI in a sexual harassment case.
  • On Bains submission that certain documents could not be disclosed, the court said that it will examine whether documents called privileged communication could be withheld in such an important case.

 

Procedure of law

  • Whenever a complaint is received against a judge, it should be investigated by a committee and a report should be submitted to the CJI.
  • Then the CJI consults with other judges on the actions to be taken thereafter.
  • The Constitution prescribes the only impeachment as a punishment for the judges. No other form of punishment is prescribed in the Constitution.
  • Even for the CJI, there is no separate punishment prescribed.
  • Until now, no judge has been impeached though impeachment proceedings were started.
  • Under the K Ramaswamy case, 1991, an enquiry to be initiated against SC or HC judges should take the permission of the CJI.
  • But if the case pertains to the CJI himself, the government should consult the senior most judge or judges and decide the future course of action.

 

Role of media

  • India is undergoing a transition phase where there is a transition from print media to electronic media.
  • Both of the media use different yardsticks to analyse a news issue.
  • In the present case, the print media or the traditional media first published the case which was taken up by electronic media.
  • The electronic media then chose to publicise the case while the print media decided to exercise restraint.
  • The SC also prevented itself from restricting the media to publish the allegations.

 

Challenges

  • The issue may be politicized by parties for their gains.
  • The unrestricted behaviour of the media can damage the image of the CJI.
  • There are only ad-hoc mechanisms and no procedure made by the Parliament to ensure the accountability of the judges.

 

Way forward

  • The Supreme Court should be careful to prevent the politicization of the issue.
  • The committee set up for enquiry could have included members of the Bar to ensure an independent enquiry.
  • Judicial standards and accountability Bill should be passed by the Parliament so that there is a definite mechanism for ensuring accountability of the judiciary.
  • There should be some mechanism prescribed by law to deal with such allegations whether they turn out to be true or false. The credibility of the institutions will also be maintained in this way.
  • Among all the three organs of democracy, the judiciary commands more respect than the legislature and the executive.
  • It is also the judiciary in which people have more faith in a democracy.
  • Allegations against senior officers of the judiciary having evidence should follow the procedure of law and be properly investigated.
  • Unless the allegations have been proved after such investigations, the media should restrain itself from publishing the case as otherwise, it will affect the reputation of the judiciary leading to loss of people’s faith in a democracy.
  • Institutional integrity should be maintained for which new principles should be evolved, if need be, without compromising the basic principles so that institutions enjoy the reputation they are entitled to.

 

Read More: Daily The Hindu RSTV Summary PIB Summary

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By admin April 24, 2019 21:02