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

Modi, Shah 'forget': Gandhi’s first Satyagraha was against citizenship law of South Africa

By Nachiketa Desai*
Hindu fanatic Nathuram Godse assassinated Mahatma Gandhi once on January 30, 1948 but his followers raising the war cry of ‘Jai Sriram’ are killing the Mahatma every day. In his home state of Gujarat, Gandhiji was killed a thousand times in 2002 when over 2,000 Muslims were butchered, their women raped, homes and shops plundered and set on fire and even unborn babies ripped out of the wombs of their mothers.

Union Budget 'moves away' from Right to Education, 1.3 lakh schools closed down

By Dr Aparajita Sharma*
It was a shocking reply by the Union human resource development minister to a question raised in Parliament on closure of schools in a country where lakhs of children are still out of school. On December 2, the minister, Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, told Lok Sabha that the NITI Aayog’s education project, Sath-E, has led to 35,996 schools of different levels being merged in Madhya Pradesh, 4,312 in Jharkhand and 1,803 in Odisha. NITI Aayog is the Central Government’s policy think-tank.

CAA-NPR-NRC will 'target' 99% homeless, who are without birth certificates: NCU

Counterview Desk
Claiming to base on a survey in five states (Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu), which finds that over 99% of the homeless people do not have birth certificates, a civil rights organization which networks activists, researchers, urban practioners, lawyers, informal sector workers, has claimed that the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), as also the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the National Population Register (NPR), are likely to adversely impact this section the most.

Modi 'warned': Will not remain silent when women are labelled terrorists and traitors

Counterview Desk
As many as 13 women's rights organizations and 162 individuals have issued an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi stating that in the light of hate speeches during Delhi elections, especially directed against women, it is his "Constitutional duty to protect all citizens" and tell his partymen "to fight the elections in a manner that upholds the Constitution, not one that increases the fear and insecurity among women."

Law 'governing' world's tallest Statue of Unity refers to local tribals as occupiers

By Rohit Prajapati, Krishnakant*
The recently enacted Statue of Unity (SoU) Area Development and Tourism Governance Act, 2019 in Gujarat comes amidst a terrifying atmosphere of intimidation, house arrests, detentions and FIRs, not to mention the overarching implementation of Section 144 across the state.

Anti-CAA: Mallika Sarabhai joins students, faculty to protest dy CM's 'divisive' talk

By Our Representative
Taking strong exception to deputy chief minister Nitin Patel’s statement against those protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC), well-known danseuse Mallika Sarabhai has joined tens of activists and students and faculty of Gujarat University, CEPT University, Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad, Gujarat Vidyapeeth and Nirma University to say that they are seeking “azadi” from the fascist and communal forces of the country.

Ramchandra Guha on how Gandhi outgrew his Gujarati bania 'parochialism'

By Rajiv Shah
More than a fortnight ago, prominent historian Ramchandra Guha, who calls himself Gandhi scholar and not a Gandhian, came to Ahmedabad. While I was part of a small group of persons who met him at lunch, his lecture on Gandhi in the evening, where he sought to interpret what swaraj meant to Gandhi, surely, interested the selected audience that had been called to listen to him.

Mystery around Gujarat PSU 'transfer' of Rs 250 crore to Canadian firm Karnalyte

By AK Luke, IAS (Retd)*
While returning from a Board meeting of the Oil India Limited (OIL) in Ahmedabad some time in 2012, two officers of the Gujarat State Fertilizers and Chemicals Ltd (GSFC), Nanavaty and Patel,  saw me off at the airport. They said they were proceeding to Canada in connection with a project GSFC had entered into with a company there. As we were running late, I hastily wished them the best.

Ironical? Hindutva is all 'fire and spite', as Muslim women become apostles of peace

By Sandeep Pandey*
On January 26, Republic Day, 2020, while protests simmered against Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC) throughout India, a dozen North American cities also witnessed historic protests. Indian Embassies have been witness to protests in the past. But this time it was different.