Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

Tag: court judges

New constitution for India

India is in need of a new constitution. The problems faced by India are plenty and they cannot be solved by amendments.

1) India should be a federation. The boundaries of states must be fixed after considering all demands for new states and border disputes. At present there are demands for Telangana, Gorkhaland, Harit Pradesh, Bundelkhand, Rohilkhand, Mithilanchal, Poorvanchal, Coorg, Kutch, Meru Pradesh and Bodoland. There are disputes about Belgaum and Kasargod. Every state should have its own capital. One city cannot be capital of two or more states.

2) India should have presidential system of democracy. President must be elected by MPs and Governors must be elected by MLAs. Parliamentary system is good when there is two party system. India has many parties and coalition governments at centre and states do not function effectively. Even price rise is blamed on coalition.

3) Parliament must be single house. States should have only Legislative Assemblies, not Legislative Councils.

4) States should have more powers. All powers except civil and penal codes, currency, communications, defence and external affairs may be given to states.

5) Right to property shall be a fundamental right. Farmers and others who do not want to sell their land or property to SEZs or companies should be able to hold on to their land and property and there shall be no acquisition by state.

6) There shall be no reservation on the basis of class, caste, tribe or gender in government jobs, government educational institutions, Parliament, Legislative Assemblies, urban, rural and other local bodies.

7) Supreme Court judges shall be appointed by President after approval by Parliament and High Court judges shall be shall be appointed by Governor after approval by Legislative Assemblies. Removal of Supreme Court judges shall be by Parliament and High Court judges shall be by Legislative Assemblies.

8) Constitutional amendments must be approved by three fourths of Legislative Assemblies.

India will soon complete 61 years as a republic. What was good in 1950 is not good in 2011 in spite of repeated amendments, many of which were unnecessary.

Corrupt Chief Justices of India

Shanti Bhushan, for law minister of India, has said eight of the 16 former Chief Justices of India were corrupt, six were honest and about two he is not sure. It means 50% of CJIs were corrupt. It means 50% of Supreme Court judges and High Court judges are corrupt. When S. P. Bharucha was CJI he had said 20% of the judiciary is corrupt. By Shanti Bhushan’s reckoning 50% of the judiciary is corrupt. It means 50% of judgments were wrong.

Shanti Bhushan must make public the names of CJIs who were corrupt. He must also reveal whatever he knows about their misdeeds. That will be a great service to the nation and help in cleaning the augean stables of corruption.

Some years ago chairman of Punjab Public Service Commission was under investigation for corruption. He, as per reports, took 75 lakh rupees each for appointment as DSP or judge. If someone pays 75 lakh rupees to become a judge what fairness can be expected of that judge?

Judges have used contempt of court provision to silence people from mentioning corruption in judiciary by holding that truth is not a defence in case of contempt of court. There was one magistrate who issued four arrest warrants for Rs.10,000/- each. The four to be arrested included the then President A. P. J. Abdul Kalam and the then CJI Vishwanath N. Khare.

Removal of High Court and Supreme Court judges is a long process. It needs to be simplified. Removal of High Court judges should be by Legislative Assembly of the state. Removal of Supreme Court judges should be soon after sufficient number of MPs sign the petition.

It is not enough to remove corrupt judges. Suitable punishment should follow depending on the magnitude of corruption. Indian Penal Code needs to be amended for punishment according to magnitude of crime and consecutive sentences instead of concurrent sentences.

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