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Those Misbehaving With Speaker Must Be Permanently Barred

September 12, 2017 0
Coming straight to the nub of the matter, let me begin by first and foremost expressing my utmost disgust at the manner in which Members of Parliament (MPs) repeatedly misbehave with the Speaker and still get away with either very light punishment or no punishment at all! This must end now once and for all. No more condoning of such unruly behaviour by MPs who are a disgrace to the entire nation! At the first place, why is there so much of tolerance for such a shameful behaviour?  

                                      To put things in perspective, it may be recalled here that Samajwadi Party lawmaker Akshay Yadav was censured last year after he threw bits of paper at Speaker – Sumitra Mahajan as Opposition parties continued their protests against the old 500 and 1000 notes ban by the Centre when the Parliament convened. We all saw how an angry Ms Mahajan adjourned the House. She was visibly upset by such atrocious conduct!
                                                   Be it noted, when the House reassembled, the Speaker Sumitra Mahajan reprimanded Akshay Yadav for his conduct. Sumitra minced no words in saying that, “This conduct is not proper on the part of the member and also for the dignity and prestige of the House.” He was let off lightly after a warning from Speaker to refrain from such activities in future.
                                                Let me be direct in asking: Why should MPs be let off even after they misbehave with Speaker? Why are they being encouraged to indulge in such reprehensible acts by letting them off very lightly? Why should they not be permanently barred from entering Parliament or at least barred for the remainder of their term?
                                          Let me also ask some more unpalatable but pertinent questions here: Why in other services like Army or Civil Services are the officers immediately dismissed if they dare to throw papers at their seniors as it is deemed to be “gross misconduct”? Why only are politicians who become MPs or MLAs exempted from it? Why are they treated in such a VVIP manner even though they never tire in calling themselves “public servants”?
                                                    Why are they also not immediately barred from entering Parliament or State Assembly again? Why should they be let off after a mere warning or expulsion for just a few days which has just no effect on them which alone explains why Speaker has to repeatedly face insult and humiliation from MPs? Why Centre is not making any strict law in this regard? Why is it taking all this for granted?
                                      Let me be upfront in asking: Why if Speaker refuse to concede to the demands of MPs which is the exclusive prerogative of Speaker to concede or not to concede do they start throwing papers at Speaker? Why can’t MPs be more civilized in their behaviour? Why do they have the liberty to insult Speaker as and when they like and yet continue to enjoy all the privileges of MPs and at the most get expelled for just few days not even months or years or for life?
                                       Let me also be upfront in asking: Why some MPs think that it is their fundamental right to throw papers at Speaker? Why PM, Opposition Leader and MPs feel that throwing of papers should be taken very lightly and under no circumstances should they be expelled except for some few days? Are they not guilty of abetting MPs to time and again indulge in such unruly acts? Why they feel that issue should not be made of it and slight condemnation is enough? Why strict rules are not being framed so that those who don’t know how to behave properly are barred from ever entering Parliament again?  
                                        No prizes for guessing that once again on July 24 the Lok Sabha Speaker had to face unruly behaviour from MPs. Topics such as open defecation problem, mob lynchings and attack on Dalits were sought to be highlighted by the Opposition. Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge put forward an adjournment motion notice pertaining to mob lynchings and attacks on Dalits which was rejected by the House. He claimed the Opposition was not given a chance to speak.         
                                           Let me be quick to ask here: Does this give an unfettered licence to MPs to indulge in gross misconduct by throwing papers at Speaker or start shouting at the top of their voices or tearing papers and throwing them all around in Parliament? Why all politicians feel that all this should be overlooked as MPs enjoy certain privileges? Should this be considered a privilege that MPs insult and humiliate a Speaker and that too a woman Speaker? Why is PM Narendra Modi silent on it?
                                             What is most shocking is that 6 Congressmen who misbehaved were suspended for just 5 days which means that they have been given the unfettered licence to again after coming to Parliament indulge in similar misbehaviour and again face expulsion for just 5 days or so or even let off after a light reprimand which makes no difference to them at all! The suspended members are G Gogoi, K Suresh, Adhiranjan Chowdhary, Ranjeet Ranjan, Sushmita Dev and MK Raghavan.      
                                             Let me now also ask some more thought provoking questions: Should all Indians be proud that these 6 Congressmen who had the gall to misbehave with Speaker have been expelled for just 5 days? Why are there no strict rules that if any MP ever dares to throw papers at Speaker, he/she would be barred for life from entering Parliament? Why so lenient rules for MPs? Are such lenient rules not encouraging them to time and again storm to the well of the House and openly misbehave with Speaker as they like and yet continue being the Hon’ble MP?
                                            Let me also not shy away from asking here some more pertinent questions: Why are all MPs including Speaker so conspicuously silent on it? Why should MPs be allowed to throw papers at Speaker and then get away with it by just a slight reprimand or expulsion at the most for few days as we saw recently in the case of these 6 Congressmen? When will this shameful mockery end? How long will the reputed Chair of Speaker be insulted by MPs so brazenly only to come back again to Parliament and repeat the same act?
                                                        Can anyone tell me: Why MPs have the liberty to shout as much as they like in Parliament and instead of spending time on relevant things waste time by shouting due to which crores of taxpayers money are frittered away at the drop of a hat and not stopping here further throw papers at Speaker and still continue being MPs for the rest of their life and get away with just a reprimand or few days expulsion from the House? Why should such unruly MPs not be banned for life from entering Parliament? Why should they not be jailed for few years for insulting Speaker? Why should they be paid any salary for being an MP when they don’t even know how to behave inside Parliament?
                                           Truth be told, Sumitra Mahajan was candid enough to say that, “Sad with what happened. Question Hour should never be disrupted. Had told Kharge Ji, I will allow him to speak after Question Hour.” She also said that, “Creating ruckus at Well is non-disciplinary in itself but tearing up paper and throwing it on Speaker 4 times was worse.” Needless to say, the MPs threw pieces of paper and disrupted proceedings during the zero hour. The Speaker suspended them and adjourned the Lok Sabha till 2.30.
                                                 Truly speaking, this is not the first time that Congress MPs have been suspended for few days for their unruly behaviour. It may be recalled here that in 2015 also, the Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan had suspended 25 Congress MPs again for just five days for “persistently and willfully obstructing” the House. For how long will this be tolerated quietly? For how long will PM Narendra Modi keep a deafening silence on it?
                                        All Indians must also ask themselves these highly relevant but totally neglected questions: For how long will MPs continue to throw papers and insult Speaker and laugh at being expelled for just few days not more than 5 days as we saw just recently and as we saw in 2015? Should we all be proud of this? Should such unruly MPs not be shown the door for the whole life or at least expelled for the remaining term? How long will Centre take no action on this which concerns the high office of Speaker itself? Who will like to become Speaker if such reprehensible acts are allowed to continue unabated and unpunished?  
                                           As if this is not enough, let me also ask here: Why is no news channel or no magazine or no one in media is debating it seriously? Why MPs have the privilege to throw papers at Speaker and escape with just 5 days expulsion from the House? Why even after 70 years of independence we see no strict rules being framed in this regard? This open mockery and most reprehensible act cannot be just condoned by expelling them for a few days.
                                                It needs no rocket scientist to conclude that it is high time and now they must be barred for the rest of their life so that the right message goes out to all MPs that those who can’t respect Speaker have no right to be a MP! How many of us are aware that Speaker office comes above even  the CJI? Should it be still insulted in such a brazen manner by MPs on the ground that they have been elected to represent people and raise their voice in Parliament?
                                                      Let me hasten to add here: Protest has to be done in a well dignified manner as we see in case of eminent MPs from all parties who never indulge in such unruly behaviour! Let there be no doubt on this! Mayawati also protested and even resigned but she didn’t throw papers at Speaker! That is the proper way!
                                                   All said and done, Parliament cannot be allowed to become a dirty fish market where conduct does not matter at all! Most unfortunately, this is what we are seeing in Parliament right now! How long will this reprehensible status quo continue? All MPs must realize this! The earlier they do, the better it shall be for the healthy functioning of our democratic system.
                                                      Parliament is the biggest citadel of democracy and few MPs cannot be allowed to hijack it and run it as they like without being checked by anyone or being allowed to escape very lightly! Such unruly MPs must be barred permanently from entering Parliament because they are just not fit for it! When once MPs will be shown the door for life for misbehaving with Speaker, no MP will have the audacity to ever dare to again misbehave with Speaker right inside the House!
                                               But the moot question that arises here is: Will majority of MPs ever allow this to happen has it is they themselves who will be directly affected by such strict rules? MPs only know how to make rules for another but when it comes to them they are not ready for any change and feel that MPs have the right to contest from jails and even if some one is barred from all government jobs because he/she has criminal cases pending against him/her even though they may be false but when it comes to becoming MPs then even dacoits like the former bandit queen Phoolan Devi or anyone else have every right to become an MP! Can this ever be justified? Still our MPs justify this and say that all cases against them are “politically motivated”!
                                                 But what about unruly behaviour inside Parliament? For this also they will give hundred reasons! Most unfortunately, here too they are allowed to have the last laugh and continue as MP in spite of misbehaving with Speaker! Why no serious attempt has ever been made by any government to permanently disqualify all such MPs who misbehave with not just Speaker but with anybody else?
                                               Why we see MPs hurling abuses on aeroplane while interacting with some staff official as we saw recently when a Shiv Sena MP slapped an official and even hurled abuses or with anyone else and yet not be expelled from Parliament? Why strict rules and regulations are there for only all other services and departments? Why similar rules not for MPs and MLAs?
                                                   Why they are treated as being above law? Why they are allowed to decide their own salary when we don’t see this happening in any other department? We have seen how they raise their salary 100 times or 10 times as per their whims and fancies! This too must end!   
                                                     On a concluding note, it must be said that a beginning can be made in this direction by at least banning all those MPs and MLAs who misbehave with Speaker or with anyone who is presiding the concerned House! But again the moot questions are: Will this beginning ever be made? Will MPs and MLAs ever allow it to happen? Will the time ever come in our nation when those misbehaving with Speaker or with anyone presiding the House would be barred for life so that only those who display exemplary conduct are allowed to continue as MPs and MLAs? It is our national image that will enhance if this happens and huge taxpayers money won’t be wasted because of the shouting brigade who would then find no place in Parliament or in any State Assembly to sit and create a ruckus, throw papers at Speaker or at anyone who is presiding the concerned House and yet continue as Member of that House!            
Sanjeeev Sirohi, Advocate,
s/o Col BPS Sirohi,
A 82, Defence Enclave,
Sardhana Road, Kaankerkhera,
Meerut – 250001, Uttar Pradesh.  

Women Are Most Unsafe In Lawless West UP And UP

September 04, 2017 0
Let me begin on a very bitter note by pointing out that crime against women are multiplying most rapidly in UP and this is most felt in West UP which is the worst affected of all the regions of UP. Throwing of acid on woman or rape, gang rape, molestation and all other forms of crimes against women and girls are openly being perpetrated in West UP especially as also in UP which is certainly most concerning! This West UP with 26 districts has an area of 98,000 square km which is more than the area of many other states and has a population of more than 9 crore which is more than any other state except Maharashtra and Bihar. Here too areawise West UP is bigger than Bihar which has an area of 94,000 square km.
Women Are Most Unsafe In Lawless West UP And UP

                                           It is most hurting to read that dacoits are fearlessly killing innocent people on highway as happened most recently on May 25 and then in front of their men had the guts to gang rape the 4 women accompanying them just a kilometer away from the Yamuna Expressway in Greater Noida and when one man resisted he was shot in the chest from point blank range who died  and others were thrashed badly! This clearly demonstrates that women are not safe even when accompanied with their entire family! Such incidents keep happening on a regular basis in West UP especially! 2 minor girls were gangraped recently in Moradabad! Criminals fully know that West UP has no high court bench and Allahabad High Court tops in the number of pending cases about 10 lakh pending cases and it would take ages before the cases are finally decided as they keep on lingering interminably and by the time they are decided they would die a natural death and victims would suffer endlessly travelling again and again 800-900 km away from West UP to Allahabad as West UP with 26 districts have no high court bench! This must change now if the fear of law is to be ingrained permanently in the minds of such criminals! We all know fully well that how a similar incident had triggered huge protests in July 2016 when a mother and daughter were gangraped in Bulandshahar! The newly appointed Chief Justice of Allahabad High Court Justice Dilip Babasaheb Bhonsle rightly lashed out at the law and order situation in UP and said that in Maharashtra women or girl venture out in night anywhere yet never such incidents of gang rape occur!  
                                                Still you see the irony! Maharashtra has 3 high court benches at Nagpur, Aurangabad and Goa apart from high court at Mumbai but West UP has not even a single bench of high court! In UP itself both high court at Allahabad and a single bench at Lucknow are located so close to each other with a distance of just about 150-200 km. Why not a single bench of high court was created in West UP even though Justice Jaswant Singh Commission appointed by former PM late Mrs Indira Gandhi very strongly recommended 3 benches for West UP and hilly areas adjoining it which now form a separate state – Uttarakhand at Agra, Nainital and Dehradun even though bench were created at Aurangabad in Maharashtra on its recommendations? Benches were also approved for Jalpaiguri in West Bengal and Madurai in Tamil Nadu! Why women victims have to travel so far away to Allahabad which is about 700-800 km away from most of the districts of West UP and be made to suffer so much for the inordinate delay and made to bear the huge expenses in fighting the case for her right in making sure that sexual offenders are sent behind bars?
                                                   It is so shocking and disgusting to see that West UP is fast becoming the epicenter of all kinds of crimes, rapes, gangrapes, brutal murders, mass murders, dacoity, robbery and what not! What is even more shocking to see is that all political parties barring Samajwadi Party have openly espoused the creation of a high court bench in West UP but still even after seventy years of independence we see no sign of it happening anytime soon! What is most shocking is that inspite of West UP accounting for more than half of the crime cases all over UP, not a single high court bench has been created here since 1947 till now even though a high court bench was created at Lucknow so close to Allahabad way back on July 1, 1948!
                                                  What an unbeatable irony that Allahabad High Court tops with maximum pending cases at 10 lakh and still it has least high court benches – only one at Lucknow for just 8 districts! No other High Court in India has 10 lakh or 9 lakh or 8 lakh or 7 lakh or 6 lakh or 5 lakh or 4 lakh or 3 lakh or even 2 lakh cases pending and still some of them have got 3 high court benches like Karnataka, Maharashtra and others but UP has just one Bench only! Why this step-motherly treatment for UP?
                                              What a shame that man and boys in West UP have the guts to indulge in molestation as they 14 of them did in Rampur district in West UP when they  molested and assaulted 2 girls in broad daylight in a village under Tanda police station in Rampur and also filed the act on their cellphone cameras and later put it on Facebook! One accused even lifts her.  While the girls are seen pleading with them to let them go, the youths are seen laughing and misbehaving with them! Yet we hardly see any strict action! They have just no fear of law!
                                             Such criminals know fully well that Allahabad High Court has the highest number of pending cases – about 10 lakh as compared to other states where the number of pending cases don’t exceed 1 lakh or at the most 2 lakhs cases! They know that they will easily get bail and by the time cases are finally decided they will die a natural death.
                                               But see the unpalatable irony! Politicians are not prepared to create even a single bench anywhere in UP leave alone West UP!  It is a matter of great shame that Allahabad High Court which last year on March 17 had completed its 150th year of establishment has the least benches in India – only one at Lucknow and that too just about 150-200 km away from Allahabad! Why no high court bench in West UP at Meerut or Agra or at Jhansi or some other place? We all know that Allahabad High Court is the biggest court in whole of Asia and also the oldest court! Still why it has least benches in India only one which is so close to Allahabad? If Lucknow is capital of UP, Bhopal is also capital of MP, Bhubaneshwar is also capital of Odisha and so is the case with many other big cities which neither have high court nor bench!
                                          Why politicians have ensured that a high court bench was created for Lucknow about 69 years back on July 1, 1948 but not at any other place especially in West UP, Bundelkhand and Gorakhpur even 70 years later? Why Centre decided to create 2 more benches for Karnataka at Dharwad and Gulbarga for just 4 and 8 districts but not a single for West UP with 26 disricts? Why 230th report of Law Commission submitted in 2009 which recommended creation of more benches has only been implemented in Karnataka alone and not in UP, Bihar or other big states?
                                           Why when UP which is among the largest States, has maximum population – more than 22 crore as CM Yogi Adityanath keeps pointing out every now and then, maximum districts - 75, maximum constituencies,  maximum MPs – 80, maximum MLAs - 404, maximum PM including Narendra Modi, maximum pending cases – more than 10 lakh and here too West UP accounts for more than half of pending cases as noted by Justice Jaswant Commission about 57%, maximum Judges which earlier was 160 and increased to 200 in high court, maximum vacancies of Judges - 75 in high court, maximum poverty, maximum villages more than one lakh, maximum cities more than 700, maximum fake encounters killings, custody killings, maximum dowry cases, maximum rape and gang rape cases, maximum bride burning cases, maximum cases of human rights violations, maximum undertrials, maximum cases of crime, loot, arson and riots and here too West UP tops with Saharanpur riots, Meerut riots, Muzaffarnagar riots tarnishing our international reputation to the extent that former UN Secretary General Ban ki Moon termed UP as “crime and rape capital” of India and what not yet Centre is not prepared to create even a single bench for not just West UP but entire UP? Why when UP sends maximum MPs to Lok Sabha – 80, maximum MPs to Rajya Sabha – 30, maximum MLAs to State Assembly – 404 MLAs and maximum members to State Legislative Council – 100 MLAs and yet has least benches – only one and that too just 150 km away from Allahabad at Lucknow?
                                 Rajnath Singh who is Union Home Minister while addressing public gathering in Patiyali constituency of Kasarganj district is on record stating in February 2017 that UP reported 7,673 riots, 4660 murder, 4096 robberies and 260 dacoities in just one year and has pledged on numerous occasions his unstinted support for a high court bench in West UP but even after his BJP led government is nearing 3 years in power yet it has failed to create even a single more bench of high court not just in West UP but anywhere in UP! Why?
Our former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee had himself raised the demand for a high court bench for West UP in 1986 inside Parliament but even after more than 30 years we are nowhere! 

                                   Women are most unsafe in lawless West UP and UP! This alone explains why former UN Secretary General Ban ki Moon termed UP as “rape and crime capital” of India! More steps need to be taken to ensure safety of women. Central government led by PM Narendra Modi should stop coughing excuses now and note that it has completed 3 years in power and now its government is in power in UP also which makes it further easier to create more benches here! Dr Satyapal Singh Malik who is BJP MP had raised the bench issue in Parliament last year and demanded creation of 5 more benches but till now not even a single bench created here! Another Central minister and BJP MP Sanjeev Baliyan had raised the hope that a bench would be created in West UP before 2016 ends by reassuring the people but even now as 2017 has half ended we see no process in place for creating more benches in West UP or at any other place in whole of UP!
                                                 Why are all parties hell bent that under no circumstances should the unique record set by our first PM Jawaharlal Nehru of creating a high court bench at Lucknow on 1 July 1948 be broken before at least 100 years are completed? Seventy years have already been completed since independence! When Nehru allowed the creation of a bench at Lucknow so close to Allahabad way back in 1948 why no other politician allowed creation of a bench atr any other place till now? It was way back in 1955 that Dr Sampoornanand had recommended a high court bench for West UP at Meerut but even after 62 years we see no bench as Centre had refused then! Similarly many other UP CM had also recommended the creation of a high court bench here but to no avail! Why?  
                                           Lawyers of West UP have been striking work for 6 months without break several times demanding high court bench as they did in 2001 and for 3 months as they did in 2014-15 and we keep seeing strike nearly every month apart from the strike of Saturdays yet no bench! They even go on strike everySaturday since May 1981 to protest West UP not being given a bench even though Justice Jaswant Commission had explicitly recommended 3 benches! What they get is just fake assurances sometimes from Centre and sometimes from State! Nothing else!       
                                              Finally and most importantly, now no more delay and no more lame excuses! Now only and only more benches for UP! Only then will the more than 22 crore people of UP get some relief especially women and girls who are most vulnerable to all types of crimes and will not have to waste huge money and time to get justice which they don’t get usually in their lifetime as Allahabad High Court is overloaded with more than 10 lakh pending cases and more than half of High Court Judges post are still lying vacant! This open endless sham must end now!

                                           If a high court bench is created it is “poorest of poor” and the most deprived and hapless women who will benefit most as they will be saved from the unnecessary trouble of travelling so far and spending so much extra money, time etc to just attend one hearing alone! Centre must have some pity on woman at least who are most unsafe in lawless UP and especially West UP and immediately order creation of more benches not just in West UP but also in other parts of UP where the crime rate is high! Crime rate is highest in West UP which necessitates creation of bench here on  a war footing!    
Sanjeev Sirohi, Advocate,
s/o Col BPS Sirohi,
A 82, Defence Enclave,
Sardhana Road, Kankerkhera,

Meerut – 250001, Uttar Pradesh.

Calcutta High Court Lashes Out At Centre Over Judges’ Shortage

August 30, 2017 0


                                                          Coming straight to the nub of the matter, in a scathing attack on the Centre for delaying the appointment of Judges, the Calcutta High Court Bench comprising of Justices Dipankar Datta and Debi Prosad Dey onJuly 12 while hearing a bail plea for actor Vikram Chatterjee involving the death of a model Sonika Chauhan termed the shortage of Judges as a “very major problem” that the oldest high court of the country was encountering. The observations came as the Bench noted that the actor’s bail application could not be listed on time by the court due to which he was arrested leaving his plea infructuous. The Calcutta High Court while casting Centre’s nonchalant approach on such a key issue said it was working with a little less than 50 percent strength as the functional strength of Judges in the court was only 34, while the sanctioned number was 72.
Calcutta High Court Lashes Out At Centre Over Judges’ Shortage

                                               Appoint More Judges

                                                      Neeedless to say, the Calcutta High Court has warned of “appropriate action” if urgent steps are not taken on it, while asking whether the nation could think of the Parliament functioning with half its strength. The Bench did not hesitate in making it absolutely clear that, “The time is now ripe for speaking our mind out or else this premier institution, which has stood tall despite several odds, would gradually cease to lose its efficacy. The Bar and the litigant public have been tolerant so long, but this Bench cannot remain a silent spectator waiting for the inevitable ire to explode.” Centre must stop coughing up a long list of excuses and should immediately sit on the drawing board and draw up plan to fill up all the vacancies of Judges in different High Courts without wasting any more time! There are more than 400 posts of High Court Judges that lie vacant across the country.  

                                             Not The First Time

                                           Without mincing any words, let me say this point blank: This is not the first time  this concern has been expressed. We all know it fully well that how earlier also former Chief Justice of India TS Thakur had expressed his utmost unhappiness over delay in appointment of Judges and said courts in the country now require more than 70,000 Judges to clear the pending cases. “While we (judiciary) remain keen to ensure that Judges appointments are made quickly, the machinery involved with the appointment of Judges continues to grind very slowly. The confidence of people on the judiciary has, over the years, multiplied. Over three crore cases are pending in various courts across the country,” said former CJI TS Thakur  while speaking on the opening day of the centennial celebration of the Odisha High Court at Cuttack. A standoff between the judiciary and the government in the last 18 months over drafting of the new Memorandum of Procedure, the guidelines for appointing Judges, has further added to the problem. It is pending mainly due to differences on its content between the executive and the collegiums. It is a matter of grave concern that the friction between the two sides which repeatedly hit the headlines during the previous Chief Justice of India TS Thakur’s time is continuing even till now!

                                                        Be it noted, the former CJI TS Thakur said around 170 proposals for appointment of High Court Judges were now pending with the government. “Access to justice is a fundamental right and the government cannot afford to deny the people their fundamental right,” he said. Former CJI Thakur said shortage of Judges was one of the formidable challenges faced now. Of some 900 sanctioned posts of Judges in different High Courts of the country, there are over 450 vacancies, which need to be filled up immediately. He said while the Law Commission of India in 1987 had suggested having 44,000 Judges to effectively tackle the then number of pending cases, the country today has only 18,000 Judges. He also lamented earlier at a function in Delhi that the judiciary had been made the scapegoat for the mounting pendency of cases.   

                               Fill Vacancies In All High Courts

                                     It must also be reiterated here that the Judges shortage problem is not just confined to Calcutta High Court alone. It is also spread over all other major states barring one or two smaller high courts in smaller states. Why even in UP we see that Allahabad High Court has sanctioned strength of 160 Judges yet not even half the vacancies are filled up? This has been going on for many decades. This must end now and vacancies must all be filled up on a war footing!
                                                        Truly speaking, Centre cites hundred reasons as to why more benches cannot be set up in big states like UP like the one that there is lot of opposition from the High Court itself. Agreed! But who will dispute that the huge vacancies in all big courts like Allahabad High Court where more than 10 lakh cases are pending must be filled up completely. Not even one seat should be left vacant! But what we see instead is that more than half seats keep lying vacant and Centre is always ready to cite hundred reasons for not filling up the vacancies! This is just not in order! There is no shortage of talented lawyers who are fit to become High Court Judges. But Centre is not ready to fill the vacancies. Centre is also the biggest litigator due to which we see so many cases piling up in courts! Though there are no official figures, the government is the country’s biggest litigator, being a party in about half of the country’s 27 million pending cases.

                                        Immediate Action

                                               Now coming back to the main subject, the Calcutta High Court has criticized the Centre over alleged delay in appointment of Judges, while asking whether the nation could think of the Parliament functioning with half its strength. A Division Bench of Justices Dipankar Dutta and DP Dey said that, “Immediate action is called for to appoint maximum number of Judges to prevent the justice delivery system from collapsing, which seems to be imminent.” At the first place such a despicable situation should never have cropped up!

                                Top Priority To Appointing Judges

                                                      While craving for the exclusive indulgence of my esteemed readers, let me inform them that the Bench of Calcutta High Court has said that the functional strength of Judges in the Calcutta High Court was 34, while the sanctioned strength was 72. It said that, “The present functional strength is, therefore, a little less than 50 percent of the sanctioned strength.” The Calcutta High Court asked the Union Law Minister to intervene and give top priority to appointing Judges in the Calcutta High Court.
                                                       As things stand, the Bench observed that, “With less than half the sanctioned strength, the Calcutta High Court is reeling under an acute shortage of Judges to carry out judicial operations.” It also observed that, “The sanctioned strength of Judges in this Court is 72. Till a couple of years ago, the sanctioned strength was 58. Today, this Court has a functional strength of 34 Judges only. The present functional strength is, therefore, a little less than 50 percent of the sanctioned strength.”

                                  Centre Must Act And Not Remain Silent

                                                   For my esteemed readers exclusive indulgence, let me also inform them that the Calcutta High Court minced no words in making it absolutely clear that, “The politeness of this Bench may not be understood as weakness on its part to be firm. It is made clear that continued silence of the central government in the matter of appointment of Judges in the near future, despite the concerns expressed in this order, would certainly be viewed seriously as interference in the course of administration of justice and followed by appropriate action as authorized in law”. Very rightly said!

                        Thought Provoking Questions On Vacancies

                                            Let me be direct in asking: Why Centre is not ensuring that the vacancies of High Court Judges are not filled up completely? Why is Centre not serious on this? Why Centre does not realize that just paying lip service alone that it is dedicated to reduce the huge pending cases by appointing more Judges without translating it into action will lead the nation to nowhere except disaster as we are seeing right now which alone explains why Calcutta High Court felt constrained to speak out so hardly?
                                                      Let me also be direct in asking: Why Centre does not realize that the judicial system ,ay lose its efficacy if urgent measures were not taken as pointed out by Calcutta High Court? Why Centre does not realize that Calcutta High Court is reeling under an acute shortage of Judges which should have been filled up a lot earlier? Why Calcutta High Court is compelled to slam Centre for neglecting the so sensitive issue due to which it has accused the executive of being “authoritarian”?
                                                        To put things in perspective, the Calcutta High Court Bench’s observations came after it could not hear an anticipatory bail plea for more than a month after it was filed on June 5. The petitioner was arrested on July 6 and the plea was junked by the Bench on July 12 as infructuous. The Bench said that by February 2018, 10 Judges of the Calcutta High Court will retire, cutting the strength to 24 if no fresh appointment is made by that time.      
                                             Truth be told, the Calcutta High Court Bench very rightly asserted that, “Working at less than 50 percent strength, disposal of proceedings in this court have been quite high in the sense that it is complete with disposals of High Courts functioning with greater strength of Judges.” Having said this, it also made it amply clear that, “Nonetheless, it cannot be doubted that whatever is being achieved is far below the expectation of the litigants”. There can be no denying this.

                                        Dearth Of Judges

                                                       The billion dollar question that the Bench of Calcutta High Court asked and then itself replied while pulling up Centre for continued neglect was “Can the nation think of the Lok Sabha in a functional state with half of its elected members? Similarly, can legislative assemblies function at half-strength? The answer cannot be in the affirmative.” Very rightly said. It also rightly said that, “The Lok Sabha and/or the Legislative Assemblies are important Constitutional entities and it would be a disgrace for the largest democracy of the world if elections were not conducted on time.” The Bench very rightly observed while slamming Centre for “neglecting” the problem for long and accusing the executive of being “authoritarian” that, “It does not require one to be super intelligent to make the right guess. It is the problem of dearth of adequate number of Judges in this Court. It has continued from yesteryears and assumed the character of a perpetual concern, which the powers that be having the wherewithal to address and resolve have neglected by their various shades of authoritarianism.”               

                               High Courts Being Left In Lurch

                                                    It also cannot be lost on us that the Bench of Calcutta High Court said the Centre wastes no time in filling up vacancies in bureaucratic posts. It also hammered home the crucial point that, “This Bench is thus left to wonder as to why only in respect of filling up of vacancies in the High Courts, which are also high Constitutional authorities, there is such a brazen apathy and indifference of the political executive.” We thus see that the Calcutta high Court rebukes the Union Law Ministry for “brazen apathy, indifference”. Why only High Courts are being left in the lurch?                

                            Independence Of Judiciary

                                                    Calling out the “brazen apathy and indifference of the political executive”, the Calcutta High Court Bench argued very strongly and effectively that, “The independence of the judiciary is regarded as a basic structure of the Constitution, rendering a particular High Court ineffective by adopting a step-motherly attitude cannot but draw the frown of a civilized society.” While delivering a stern warning for the Centre to pull its act together, the Court also asked the Registrar General to intimate the Union Law Ministry about the order on priority. The Court also directed that a copy of the order must be sent to Union law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad “so that the matter relating to appointment of Judges in this court is given topmost priority”.             


                                                  It needs no rocket scientist to conclude that there is lot of merit in what the Calcutta High Court Bench has said. Centre must take immediate action in this regard and fill up all the vacancies of Judges not just in Calcutta High Court but also in other High Courts. It is the common man especially undertrials who suffers the most due to lack of Judges and often end up being in jail for more the time than the offence which they are accused of and which if they had committed would still have come out of jail after completing their jail term! No more excuses! No more delays! The vacancies in High Courts must be filled up in all States without exception. This is the bounden duty of the Centre and it is not doing any favour on anyone by filling up the vacant posts.       
Written by:
Sanjeev Sirohi, Advocate,
s/o Col BPS Sirohi,
A 82, Defence Enclave,
Sardhana Road, Kankerkhera,
Meerut  – 250001,
Uttar Pradesh.     

Popular Agriculture Related Schemes of Central and State Government in India

August 30, 2017 0
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