“Another revelation I had was of the widespread corruption in the judiciary. We’re simply not looking at it…” — Dr. Binayak Sen.
The great Indian middle class, journalists included, never has a serious brush with the law, and therefore cannot fully appreciate what Dr. Sen says. Not surprising that no newspaper bothers to go into this vital aspect of electoral democracy. Can Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi change this shameful dimension of our vaunted democracy?
The UPA Government is set to have a full term from 2009, and it has the opportunity to ensure justice delivery to the masses of this country.
It has to start with implementation of police reforms, which all the States have resisted. The Soli Sorabjee-drafted Model Police Act is still in limbo, so far as the States are concerned. (An earlier draft Act by C.V.Narasimhan is here.)
Accountability and transparency in the lower judiciary, which hears most of the cases, has to be ensured immediately, with penalties and dismissal of judicial officers found to be corrupt. This serious approach will bring sufficient pressure on the High Courts and the Supreme Court also to function as per the letter and spirit of the law and the Constitution.
The appointment of judges has to be painfully transparent. There is nothing wrong in this, since that is the procedure followed even for the US Supreme Court.
Here is the report in The Hindu today (Saturday) on Dr. Binayak Sen’s press conference held in Kolkata after his release from prison in Raipur, on bail.