Skip to main content

Govt of India "callous" to ordinary litigants' problems: Rejection of 13 names as Allahabad HC judges

Prashant Bhushan
By Our Representative
The Campaign for Judicial Accountability and Reforms (CJAR), led by top anti-corruption crusader, Supreme Court advocate Prashant Bhushan, has taken strong exception to the Government of India (GoI) rejecting 13 names recommended as judges for the Allahabad High Court by the Supreme Court collegiums.
Calling it “an affront to the institutional independence of the judiciary”, even as suggesting “callous disregard to the problems of the ordinary litigant”, CJAR in a statement has said, “As per the law well settled by the Supreme Court in the Second and Third Judges' cases, the GoI is not entitled to engage in an endless back and forth over the recommendations for appointment of judges to the High Court and the Supreme Court.”
CJAR says, “Once the recommendations are re-iterated by the collegium of judges, the GoI is constitutionally obligated to process the recommendations and appoint such persons as judges at the earliest.”
Calling GoI's action “unwarranted and unconstitutional”, CJAR underlines, “The Allahabad High Court suffers from the highest number of vacancies in judicial posts, and thereby a crippling problem of delay and arrears in disposing of cases.”
It adds, “Far from working with the judiciary to address these issues and ensuring the quick reduction of vacancies, the GoI has stalled the process for ulterior motives.”
Asking the GoI to cease the current “charade” and “resolve to act in accordance with the law and the Constitution and address the problems of the litigants by immediately appointing all the recommended persons to the Allahabad High Court”, CJAR says, “The repeated raising of petty objections suggests that the GoI has no intention of letting the judiciary fill the posts with competent, independent minded judges.”
Condemning the “disturbing trend”, and asking the judiciary to remain “firm, independent and uncompromising check on the government”, CJAR has characterized 2016 as the “year of abrasive disagreement between the judiciary and the government especially over the issue of judicial appointments”.
It says, there has been “complete opacity” on the part of both GoI and the Supreme Court in “disclosing a draft of the memorandum of procedure for appointments to the High Court and Supreme Court.”
“This process has been shrouded in secrecy”, it says, emphasizing, it excludes “public participation in this crucial process”. It adds, repeated requests from CJAR for a draft of the memorandum to be shared and have discussions on it have “received no response.”
Giving other instances of GoI’s “disregard” for law, CJAR says, “The government has not appointed Lokpal despite Parliament enacting the law in 2014. The Whistleblowers Protection Law also remains un-notified.”
Worse, it says, “Existing bodies such as the Information Commission have suffered due to large number of vacancies for long periods, with the resultant inability to carry out their mandate, which further undermines the objective of the law.”
Then, referring to the VIP copter scam, “in which politicians may now to be a focus of CBI probe”, CJAR says, “It becomes apparent why the government in a deliberate dereliction did not convene a meeting of the selection committee to select a full-fledged CBI director as mandated under the law.”

Comments

TRENDING

#MeToo moment in Hyderabad Urdu varsity? Two girl students seek action against authorities

Counterview Desk
Has the #MeToo movement reached Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MAANU)? It would seem so if a recent letter by newly-appointed chancellor Firoz Bakht Ahmed to MAANU vice-chancellor Dr Aslam Parvaiz is any indication. Seeking reinstatement of two girl victims of “sexual harassment and humiliation”, the letter specifically names head of the department of the Media Centre for Journalism, suspecting, the problem could be much deeper.
Text of the letter: It is a matter of utmost perturbation for me to receive the two representations from the girls studying in the MCJ (Media Center for Journalism) regarding their sexual and subsequently, mental and social harassment at the hands of Prof Ehtesham Ahmad Khan, the HOD, MCJ.
We do not know, how many girls have been exploited by him and preferred to be silent for saving their family’s honour; however, there are two brave girls who stood to the depraved advances and misuse by Prof Ehtesham and came up with written complai…

"Ineligible" funding of Sardar Statue in Gujarat: CAG tells Central PSUs, it's not a heritage CSR activity

By Our Representative
The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India, in its recent report on Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSE), has qualified public sector undertakings’ (PSUs') funding the 182-metre world’s highest Sardar Statue, currently being constructed in the Narmada river downstream of the Sardar Sarovar dam as an “ineligible” corporate social responsibility (CSR) activity.

Gujarat BJP MLAs, youth leader "incited" attack on North Indians: Cong releases video

Counterview Desk
Senior Gujarat Congress leader Shaktisinh Gohil, currently in charge of Bihar and national spokesperson, All-India Congress Committee, has sent a legal notice to chief minister Vijay Rupani threatening criminal case and civil defamation suit for accusing him with "baseless statement" that he was responsible for attacks on north Indians in Gujarat.

29th "NRC-related" suicide in Assam, as Nirod Baran Das takes his life by hanging on a fan

By Our Representative
Reporting 29th case of National Register of Citizens (NRC)-driven suicide in Assam, one of India’s human rights campaign sites has said that, on October 20, tragedy struck Kharupetia town in Darrang district of Assam, when a retired school teacher and advocate Nirod Baran Das “took his life by hanging himself to a fan in his home.” The report adds, “The NRC process has so far claimed over two dozen such lives in the past four months alone.”

"Highly irregular" for PSUs to fund Sardar Statue under Corporate Social Responsibility

Counterview Desk
In a letter to I Srinivas, secretary, Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Government of India, former secretary (economic affairs), Ministry of Finance, EAS Sarma, has raised questions on the funding of the Sardar Patel statue in South Gujarat by Central Public Sector Undertaking (CPSUs) relying on the Comptroller and Auditor General report (No 18/2018).

Murder of Tamil Nadu teenage Dalit girl: "Stoic silence" despite #MeToo movement

Counterview Desk
Brinelle D'souza, who is with the Centre for Health and Mental Health, School of Social Work, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, has prepared a strong statement to protest the brutal murder of 13-year-old Rajalakshmi. "Other than a few media reports, this gruesome killing has not caught national attention despite a very vibrant #MeToo campaign currently underway", regrets D'souza.

Post-MJ Akbar resignation: #MeToo movement and fears of backlash

By Sheshu Babu*
For the last few days, #MeToo movement has picked up momentum and many women are coming out with horrific tales of severe harassment in their past lives. They are not afraid anymore to expose famous persons including those at ministerial levels. As a senior journalist Neeraja Chowdhury opined (“An exit, a beginning”, October 18, 2018, indianexpress.com), "The #MeToo revelations are like the eruption of a volcano which was imminent, given the journey working women have covered. It was not easy to make public what they had gone through,and take on powerful men.”

World Bank clarifies: Its 26th rank to India not for universal access to power but for ease of doing business

By Our Representative
In a major embarrassment to the Government of India, the World Bank has reportedly clarified that it has not ranked India 26th out of 130 countries for providing power to its population. The top international banker’s clarification comes following Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal’s claim that India has “improved to 26 position from 99” in access to electricity in just one year.

Bank account frozen, raid on Amnesty office: Govt of India "treating" human rights NGOs like criminal enterprises

By Abhirr VP*
Amnesty India’s bank accounts have been frozen by the Enforcement Directorate, effectively stopping its work. Amnesty India is thus the latest target of the government’s assault on civil society in the country. The accounts of Greenpeace India were frozen earlier this month.

60 ex-civil servants seek release of CAG reports on Rafale, demonetisation before 2019 polls

Counterview Desk
As many as 60 retired civil servants have asked President Ram Nath Kovind to expedite the release of Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) reports on demonetisation and the Rafale deal. The letter, signed mainly by former Indian Administrative Service, Indian Foreign Service and Indian Police Service officers, regrets that the status of the audit is "unclear”. According to them, “An impression is gaining ground that CAG is deliberately delaying its audit reports on demonetisation and Rafale deal till after the May 2019 elections so as not to embarrass the present government”.