ETHICS VIOLATED…?

While the row between the judiciary and the executive refuses to wane away for the past over two years, the four judges of the Supreme Court resorting to an unprecedented procedure of bringing their differences with the Chief Justice to the streets by addressing a press conference on the issue, prima facie can be termed as a revolt by those who are meant to deliver justice and of course against the ethics which they are bound to follow. Without assessing as to who is right and who is wrong, every sane citizen today feels ashamed at the act of the judges addressing the press conference as their irresponsible act has undoubtedly shaken the confidence and faith of the people in Judiciary. What an Irony that those who are entrusted with the duty to further strengthen the trust and faith of people in the judiciary have instead dealt a severe blow to the institution of which they are supposed to be the saviours. While the cords of the unprecedented move by these judges have started revealing the probabilities of conspiracy having been entered at the behest of some political parties, at the same time the real picture will soon become clear in the coming days. Though it would be too early to come to any conclusion at this stage, yet it is pertinent to mention here that a similar situation was witnessed in 1937 in the US Supreme Court. This situation was once described by Max Learner, as ‘9 scorpions in a bottle’-judges always quarrelling amongst themselves. It needs a special mention that it was in the year 1937 that US was emerging as a global power just like India is emerging now in 2018. The then US President Roosevelt wanted to steam roll the opposition, that stood against his grandiose plans-New Deal Legislation, but Supreme Court stood in the way. In the absence of a plan in place, to reform the court and make the conservative majority-judges, to support the President, Roosevelt decided on the plan to pack the court with judges of his choice so that it would have been virtually a Roosevelt Court. He introduced the Bill to manipulate the system but the Bill failed to get through. However, the judges learnt their lesson. What happened today in the Supreme Court of emerging India, is manifestation of a socio-political resurgence, the scale and speed of whose impact has hit governance apparatus, and in turn the administration of justice at the apex. In fact it might be the former squeezing the latter, to shape a pro development milieu. This reaction has been brewing now for over a decade. But, these are the socio political birth pangs of a democratic nation that have burst on to the international scene today. While the Union Govt has rightly maintained that it is an internal matter of the Apex Court, though unfortunate, it also hopes the issue would be settled soon. What is most unfortunate is that strong connections of the said four judges with some political parties are making rounds on the social media as well as other media circles and if these prove to be true then the reasons for resorting to streets by the SC Judges shall not be difficult to fathom. Another important development though not healthy is that opposition has soon after the press conference episode started playing politics over the issue. However, the Supreme Court Bar Association has said that issues raised by the senior judges should be considered by full court at the earliest. The Bar Council of India criticised the four Supreme Court judges for questioning Chief Justice of India on a minor issue of rostering with its Chairman saying that the matter should have been sorted out internally rather than bringing it on a public platform as judiciary will be weakened as a result of this, and subsequently, the democracy too. The Council has unanimously decided to form a seven-member delegation who will meet the judges of the Supreme Court to resolve the matter at the earliest. On behalf of the Bar Council of India, its Chairman requested Rahul Gandhi and other political parties not to politicise the matter. The Council has taken the sane initiative of tasking its delegation with meeting the Chief Justice of India and other senior judges in a bid to prevent such situations in the future. In such a piquant situation, it needs to be realized that in order to meet the evolving needs of society there is a dire need for self introspection and correction by all the three organs of Democracy, with judiciary being a critical pillar that does not only deliver justice but ensures that common man feels that justice has really been done.