The threat of immediate punishment is the most effective deterrent against misconduct
The Hon’ble Chief Justice,
Supreme Court of India,
WRIT PETITION (CIVIL) NO. 46 OF 2004- PIL IN THE MATTER OF ISSUANCE OF WARRANTS OF ARREST OF FOUR DIGNITARIES OF INDIA
I wish to draw your pointed attention to the above matter, involving blatant abuse of judicial process and milking money, hovering for a decade in the Hon’ble Court. Warrants of arrest of Four Dignitaries were issued by Magistrate Brahmbatt in league with some advocates practicing at Ahemdabad which cropped up in a sting operation. The case should have shocked the conscience of Judiciary of the Country, and public expects from an impartial Judiciary to take immediate stock of the position and conduct introspection for remedial measures to treat the ailments of Indian Judiciary and keep it disinfected and pure like Ganges. This is not only a case of buying-off but amounts to a scurrilous attack on the credibility of judiciary putting big sign of interrogation.
A gang of police officers had on 18.11.1997attacked an ADJ while sitting in Court Room in Bhagalpur in Bihar earlier. Certainly this was not an attack on ADJ personally but this offence was misadventure of Uniformed Force to undermine confidence in judiciary and an outrageous attack on freedom of Judiciary. The Hon’ble Patna High Court stepped into and commenced trial of the case, and the contemnors were convicted on 10.02.1998 within a short span of 3 months. The convicted contemnors appealed before this court, and this court not only affirmed the conviction under Contempt of Courts Act but further directed to speed up the disciplinary action as well as criminal prosecution.
Unfortunately the instant petition in hand involving the very question of dignity of judiciary was registered on 28.01.2004, and CBI had submitted it’s enquiry report on 06.02.2004. But the country is awaiting still the fate of this petition and the culprits are roaming free for this pretty enough period. Whether the petitioner has prayed for punishment to the culprits or not but an impartial and neutral Court gaining knowledge can’t turn a blind eye to the offences committed by anybody irrespective of his height, post or profession. Meanwhile the case had been listed for hearing a number of times but the progress is not pleasing. Public expects that a hearing should be an effective hearing and not merely an empty formality or ritual.
The delay, knowingly or unknowingly, by the court has proven helpful for the culprits instrumental in mockery of judicial system and gives a wrong impression to common mind. Dragging the proceedings unnecessarily would impede the speed and efficiency with which justice has to be administered. The threat of immediate punishment is the most effective deterrent against misconduct. It is undesirable that a criminal prosecution should wait till everybody concerned has forgotten all about the crime. The public interests demand that criminal justice should be swift and sure; that the guilty should be punished while the events are still fresh in the public mind and that the innocent should be absolved as early as is consistent with a fair and impartial trial.
This Hon’ble Court should re-evaluate the position since the delinquent Magistrate may retire gracefully meanwhile. In Mahabharat Duryodhan asks Bhishm, “Though you have been eradicating thousands of soldiers of opponents daily but have not hit down even a single Pandav.” Bhishm replies, “No tree may chop his own branch.” Since the persons involved in the episode belong to judicial business hence the misgivings deepen in the minds of persons of ordinary prudence in the matter. However the Scale of Justice before the Throne of Vikramaditya or Jehangir should remain balanced in any case.
I may also add that the basis of every law or every rule OR EVERY EXERCISE OF DISCRETION or every decision of Constitutional Bodies take, is on the premise of greatest good of the greatest number of people.
May GOD be with you and your companion judges always and every time to strengthen the confidence of common man of this democratic country in the institution.
Mani Ram Sharma
Chairman, Indian National Bar Association, Churu- Chapter