Judicial Accountability

First Published on 10.12.2011

I hear that the judicial accountability bill will be passed in the current session. This will be of any use only if it ensures transparency in judicial proceedings. Ideally, all proceedings of the courts should be broadcasted live to the public; however, even if such is not possible, atleast the proceedings need to be recorded, and the recordings need to be made available to the litigants on filing appropriate applications. Neither lawyers nor judges worthy of any fiduciary trust: both are human beings susceptible to corruption. The only way to curb corruption is to allow a level playing field to the sincere: A good judge can’t pass an honest order if the entire Bar protests, and a corrupt judge can’t be stopped from passing a bad order unless a smooth and efficient remedy is available to a sincere individual irrespective of his or her status and political standing; the sincere individuals need to be given power. I have not read the Judicial Accountability Bill, but if it is not giving power to the sincere individuals, it is useless. This power won’t accrue unless transparency of judicial proceedings is ensured, and the evidence of the proceedings is made readily available. I don’t see any thing wrong in a litigant privately recording the proceedings of a Court for the sole purpose of using it as an evidence in a forum created under the Judicial Accountability Bill or any other law; I don’t think there is any contempt of court in this. Last but not the least, the proceedings of a forum created under the Judicial Accountability Bill or any other law concerned with the accountability of judiciary, need to be braodcasted live to the public.

Comment dt. 20.12.2011
Now, I have read the Judicial Accountability Bill. It is useless. The UK is the most hypocritic country, and the hypocrisy of the UK exemplifies itself best in the contempt laws. India has wholeheartedly adopted the hypocrisy of the UK: The senior lawyers can’t stop calling judges as “Lords” inspite of having passed a resolution against it. Neither is the government sincere nor are the activists any better: nobody has raised any eyebrow on the BS that is being passed as judicial accountability.

Comment dt. 16.08.2012
The judiciary can be divided into two parts: the Subordinate Judiciary (the District and Session Courts) and the Superior Judiciary (the High Courts and the Supreme Courts). The Subordinate Judiciary, even now, is amenable to scrutiny, both under the administrative law and the criminal law, not only under Prevention of Corruption Act but also under the Indian Penal Code. However, the Superior Judiciary are one of the constitutional organs of the state, and thus can’t be subjugated to any other organ of the state. The only organ which can scrutinize them is the fourth organ, i.e. the Media, but in which the Media always fails for the reasons best known to them. However, ironically, there is more corruption in the Subordinate Judiciary than the Superior Judiciary, which, I say, is because of the political interference by the lawyers-politicians — every second lawyer in the Subordinate Judiciary wants to be a politician — if the Judicial Accountability Bill is going to lead to the same situation in the Superior Judiciary as well, nothing can be worse.

©2011-2012 Ankur Mutreja

About the Author

Ankur Mutreja
Ankur Mutreja is an advocate-cum-writer, and his blogs are amongst his modes of expression. He has also authored six books: "Kerala Hugged"; "Light: Philosophy"; "Flare: Opinions"; "Sparks: Satire and Reviews"; "Writings @ Ankur Mutreja"; and "Nine Poems"; which can be downloaded free from the links on the top menu.

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