It’s a well-established fact that an independent judiciary is vital for the success and functioning of any democratic country. In India, over the years, the Congress has stressed on the importance of the independence of the judiciary as well. However a close look on the stance adopted by the Congress in various judgements of the Supreme Court in fact reveals that they are more for a judiciary which is in sync with their political opinions rather than an independent stream of thought.
There are several instances which are indicative of the same. The most recent being the judgement delivered by the Supreme Court in the Loya case as well as the Aadhaar judgement. In the Aadhaar judgement when Justice Chandrachud gave a dissenting judgement, the Congress agreed with this verdict. Coincidentally, Justice Chandrachud was also a part of the three member bench in the Loya Case, where the judge had died of cardiac arrest in Nagpur when he had gone to attend the wedding of a colleague’s daughter.
The Congress party demanded an inquiry into his death and a strenuous effort had been put in by the party and its ecosystem to pressurise the judiciary into ordering a probe on this issue. When the Supreme Court dismissed these pleas while stating that there was no reason to doubt the statement of four judges leading to the circumstances of the judge’s death, the Congress Party went on to term the decision of the judiciary as a sad letter day in India’s history as it did not tow the party line.
Similarly, the Supreme Court in May 2018, ordered an immediate floor test for the BJP to prove its majority in Karnataka slashing the 15 day window given by the Governor previously. The Congress Party President went on to praise the verdict of the Apex Court’s three judge bench of which Justice Sikri was a part. The double standards of the party and its selective approach towards the judiciary were evident, when the Congress Party President cited a report on Twitter which stated that Justice Sikri who was a part of the three member Selection Panel which transferred Alok Verma as CBI Chief received a ‘plum posting’ as a member of the Commonwealth Secretariat Arbitral Tribunal (CSAT) implying that his vote on the selection panel was influenced by the posting he received.
This brings the judiciary into disrepute for two reasons being that there is no monthly remuneration offered as it was not an assignment on a regular basis, secondly the decision to even appoint him to the CSAT was in fact taken in December 2018 and the judgement which recommended him on the Selection Panel was delivered on the 8th of January, 2019.
In all these cases, the judgements which have been delivered by the judges are on the basis of the merits and demerits of each case with every judge acting on his own accord. The Congress however have maligned these judges for political gains when the judgements delivered did not favour them. In a democracy, there are often disagreements with judgments delivered by the courts, such disagreements must remain civil however it is a cause of concern when these civil disagreements turn to mudslinging against the judiciary, endangering the third pillar of democracy itself.
The Congress Party, as evident in the recent examples have displayed a dangerous trend when they have tried brow beating the judiciary or have even resorted to attempts to impeach the Chief Justice of India, when judgements were not delivered in their favour. These are brazen attempt by the Congress party to provide a warning bell to other judges to tow their party line as well or else…
It’s often that only when one’s guilty, they seek to shout the loudest to tar someone else with the same. This makes me ponder that the argument devised by the Congress that the democracy is in danger is a convenient way to hide their own actions about their chokehold over the judiciary.