Tag: Supreme Court

Judicial reforms

India needs judicial reforms. Cases drag on for years from lower courts to Sessions Courts to High Courts to Supreme Court. Adjournments and stay orders delay justice. Appeals are allowed long after the expiry of the period granted for appeal. Cases decided by arbitration are appealed in High Courts. There are various tribunals whose judgments can be appealed.

Cases of murder, rape, abduction, hijacking and such high crimes must be tried by a court having three judges and the decision should be first and last. There should be no appeal, only mercy petition in case there is punishment. Minor crimes may be tried by one judge. Civil matters may be tried by one judge or three judges depending on the amount involved and there should be no appeal.

Public interest litigation should be done away with. The law does not provide for PIL. It was an invention of a CJI. Mostly PIL is publicity interest litigation or political interest litigation or private interest litigation.

There should be no lawyers. In criminal matters police should produce evidence and witnesses and the accused have to defend themselves. They may question police evidence and witnesses and produce evidence and witnesses in their defence which the police may question.

Punishment to be consecutive and not concurrent. It should be multiplied according to the people who suffer. If two years is the punishment for causing death by accident of one person it should be 30,000 years for causing death by accident of 15,000 persons. If one year is the punishment for leaking a question paper in which one student appears for an examination it should be 1,00,000 years when 1,00,000 students appear for an examination.

There should be no parole or furlough or early release. Many people jump parole or furlough. Sometimes people who give guarantee or stand surety claim they did not do so and their signatures were forged as happened in Bitty Mohanty case. Parole or furlough is not a right. In Maharashtra in one year more than 800 persons disappeared after release on parole or furlough.

Time spent by criminals in hospitals should not be counted as part of the sentence and the period of sentence should be extended accordingly.

Kanimozhi bail plea

There were reports that CBI will not oppose Kanimozhi ‘s bail plea. The Supreme Court questioned CBI on the reports and CBI’s lawyer Harin Raval said it would certainly oppose Kanimozhi ‘s bail plea.

Karunanidhi came to Delhi and met Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh on 22/10/2011. On 24/10/2011 CBI did not oppose bail for Kanimozhi, Asif Balwa, Rajiv Aggarwal, Karim Morani and Sharad Kumar. It opposed bail for R. K. Chandolia and Shahid Balwa. On 31/10/2011 Supreme Court judges G. S. Singhvi and H. L. Dattu questioned Harin Raval “Is is true that during the hearing the CBI counsel said that he has no objection to bail for five out of the 14 accused?” and directed him to confirm the next day. On 1/11/2011 Harin Raval confirmed that U. U. Lalit representing CBI had not opposed bail for five accused.

On 3/11/2011 CBI Special Court rejected Kanimozhi ‘s bail plea and other bail pleas in 2G case . CBI had not opposed her bail plea and many had taken for granted that she would get bail. Judge O. P. Saini rejected her plea. Case-fixing by prosecution and defence did not succeed. DMK MPs were in court. Karim Morani’s family members had brought flowers and chocolates. Kanimozhi had applied for bail under Section 437 of Criminal Procedure Code which allows bail if the applicant is under 16, or a woman, or sick or infirm. The court said Kanimozhi belongs to upper echelons of society and a Member of Parliament. By no stretch of imagination she can be said to be suffering from any disadvantage on ground of being a woman alone.

There is much talk about bail not jail being the principle. Most of those who say that are lawyers of the accused. If the court feels witnesses need to be protected and granting bail will obstruct justice it is within its right to refuse bail. During TV discussions anchors should mention which lawyer represents whom. It should not be made out as if the panelists are not connected to the case. Comments like denial of bail is a grave miscarriage of justice and a deliberate misapplication of law or when the prosecutor does not oppose bail there is no reason to oppose bail are contempt of court. If the judiciary has shifted from the rule “bail is the rule and jail an exception” to “jail is the rule and bail an exception” it has good reasons. Prosecution’s objection is of no consequence. It was interesting to watch Rajiv Pratap Rudy on Left, Right and Centre. He criticized Congress. When Nidhi Razdan said Jaswant Singh of BJP wanted bail for the accused he replied “Nidhi, did I say Kanimozhi should not get bail. I did not.” That stumped Nidhi Razdan.

Resolution on death penalty

Tamil Nadu is a fit case for imposition of President’s Rule as it is not run as per constitution and its Legislative Assembly passed a resolution asking for mercy to criminals whose petitions had been rejected by the President. Omar Abdullah was right in questioning whether the reaction would have been as muted if Jammu & Kashmir had passed a similar resolution in favour of Afzal Guru. In that case BJP and many other parties would have gone ballistic. There is hypocrisy in Tamil Nadu. Some years back Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly had passed a resolution favouring death penalty for the criminals. Parties headed by Karunanidhi and Vaiko were part of NDA which rejected mercy petitions. Ram Jethmalani was member of BJP and did not oppose death penalty then. Madras High Court should not have entertained the petitions and stayed the executions for eight weeks and when that happened Supreme Court should have intervened and vacated the stay. If waiting for death penalty is cruel why extend it by eight weeks? That shows the falsehood of the claim that waiting for death penalty is cruel and an excuse to get death penalty commuted to life imprisonment. What happens in India puts banana republics to shame and there should be a new phrase to describe India.

TV channels are unfair in covering the events. Discussions are not balanced. Those who oppose death penalty are more in number and given more time. On NDTV 24×7 three were against death penalty and two were for death penalty. Pinky Anand who was in favour of death penalty was given very less time to speak. On CNN-IBN all five panellists were against death penalty. There is discussion-fixing. If TV channels are opposed to death penalty they should put a disclaimer before the discussion saying they are against death penalty and the discussion is one-sided. It seems there are efforts to influence public opinion. If TV channels or journalists are influenced by lobbyists they should disclose it. Someone on Times Now said death penalty is barbaric and India is in the company of Saudi Arabia. Death penalty is not barbaric, crime is low in Saudi Arabia and India is in the company of USA and China.

Who paid Ram Jethmalani, Colin Gonsalves and R. Vaigai and how much for appearing for criminals? Who finances PUCL? Why did judges C. Nagappan and M. Sathyanarayan stay the execution? The three lawyers and the two judges should be hanged along with the criminals.