Monday, March 18, 2013

Higher Judiciary and Rule of Law

The supreme court and high courts in India are increasingly involved in issues of social welfare (nursery admissions) and public policy (coal allocation, telecom policy). Numerous studies have pointed to the huge backlog of cases in courts, the low number of judges to population and the limited funds available to the courts. Given the extreme limitations on resources and judges time would it not be better for the country if they focused on establishing the "Rule of Law" in India. This encompass critical issues like "Equality before law" and "Right to life."  As "rule of law" and "equality before law," applies equally to government servants (bureaucracy), judicial servants and public servants (politicians and ministers), this is also a vital and legitimate focus of the judiciary. Perhaps it is even more important, as respect for law must be demonstrated by those charged with making, implementing and upholding the law. So upholding "rule of law" requires higher judiciary to try to ensure that all these categories obey law and punish them if they do not.

The issue one is raising is one of priorities and focus.  Not that there are not many other worthy causes and issues that any public minded citizen, including a legal luminary, can take up.

 I would plead with all current and former judges of the high court and supreme court, to get together and form a society for establishing "The Rule of Law," "Equality Before Law," "Justice" (including for under-trails languishing in jail without trial) and "Public Safety and Security" in this country. It is a great service they would do for the country.

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