- The Indian citizens have time and again reposed faith in the judiciary, especially the higher judiciary, in the backdrop of the political-bureaucracy nexus proving to be not only formidable in sustaining the diabolically harmful endeavors but also proving detrimental to the country’s overall health. The ordinary citizens of the country are left with no other option but to knock on the doors of the higher judiciary seeking relief, justice, and solutions to some of the most vexing challenges faced by them. To its credit, the Supreme Court has not only stayed true to its admirable reputation but also has delivered some of the most remarkable judgments for the benefit of common people. However, the same cannot be said about the lower courts though.
PC: India Today
- The mounting number of cases at all levels of the judiciary is a matter of great concern. The number of undertrials languishing in various jails is also a mind-numbing experience for those who are perennially waiting for justice to be served. This is one area that has remained in focus for quite some time without any palpable solution to address the same that would go a long way in benefiting the common citizens greatly. Against this backdrop, the Chief Justice of India Chandrachud’s high praise recently for Justice Anand Venkatesh of Madras HC comes as a welcome measure that should help in further reposing the faith of common citizens towards the higher judiciary. This also should encourage high court and trial court judges to be less apprehensive about certain cases involving alleged corruption by legislators.
- As portfolio judge for all Tamil Nadu courts that handle cases against MPs and MLAs, Justice Venkatesh in suo moto actions in August nixed a series of acquittals and discharges by trial courts in cases involving state ministers and MLAs. CJI’s statement thanking God for having judges such as Justice Venkatesh in the system aptly mirrors the alleged political-judiciary nexus. We know how this nexus has seeped into the much-revered judiciary too. K Ponmudi, one of the politicians against whom cases were restored, had moved SC against the reversal of his acquittal. That’s the petition the CJI-led bench was hearing. SC returned Ponmudi’s case to Madras HC, also taking issue with the transfer of the sitting minister’s case to a different court.
- Justice Venkatesh in August called the transfer a calculated attempt to manipulate and subvert the criminal justice system. He also questioned how the HC Chief Justice has the power to transfer the trial from one district to another. By law and convention, the chief justice did not have the administrative power to transfer a criminal case pending in a district court to another district. No such power exists or has been shown to exist. The administrative approval for the transfer had been granted by three HC judges, including the chief justice. CJI has been focusing on fair process and procedure across the judiciary since transfers and appointments have been contentious. Yes, the transfer of cases, and the transfer of judges in high courts, should remain in sharp focus.