Judges cannot be shielded from citizens’ questions

News: CJI has raised his concerns over attacks on judges owing to the judgements they delivered. Although the consumer of justice has every right to critically examine every word of the judge spoken or written, none has the right to make personal attacks on judges.

Instances of attack on the judges

ADM Jabalpur case, 1976: The court held that the right to life and personal liberty of a citizen under Article 21 of the Constitution would remain suspended during the emergency. The judiciary is under so much criticism that they had to overrule the judgement.

Shashi Tharoor speech in Parliament: He said that the judiciary had failed to stem the tide of militant majoritarianism. He further blamed that the “judiciary’s inaction almost always favors those in power”.

Trinamool MP: criticized the transfer of former Madras High Court Chief Justice as the Chief Justice of Meghalaya High Court.

Read here: There’s a need for transparency in transfer of judges

Also, the collegium is under question several times for transfer and re-transfer of judges.

Pending judgment on important cases: Several cases of national importance and which are obstructing the fundamental right of citizens are waiting for the final judgements. For instance, cases on Article 370, the Citizenship Amendment Act, electoral bonds, and others.

Also, it can be noticed that some bail applications just took only 1-2 days while others are pending for months.

What is the way forward?

As suggested by the CJI, the legal community should be obliged to protect vulnerable sections of society from the human rights atrocities perpetrated by the State or any anti-social element.

Source: This post is based on the article “Judges cannot be shielded from citizens’ questions” published in Indian Express on 13th December 2021.

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