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  • P M Ravindran2 I I 8,' Aathira', Sivapuri, Kalpathy-67 8003

    Tele : 049 1 - 257 60 42 E-mail : raviforj [email protected] gmail. com

    F i I e : Pe rs/j u d-cj i-refo rm s-L2L2L6 L2 Dec20L6

    Mr T S Thakur,

    I understand that you will be demitting office on 3 Jan 20L7. You must already be in theprocess of attending farewell functions where sycophants and those who have personally

    benefiited during your career would be extolling your virtues that you must have begun

    thinking that you must be one amoung the gods. I am writing to you to narrate some harshrealities.


    Firstly, my experience tells me that between Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Mini$ter of

    this country and Baba Saheb Ambedkar, touted as the Father of our Constitution, t,[eyperpetrated the greatest fraud on we, the people, through what we rever as the

    Constitution. Law makers without any prescribed qualities, qualifications or experience,

    their men Fridays (popularly known as bureaucrats, who are required to help them indecision making by collecting and collating data and maintaining records) without any

    accountability and b ludiciary.which has the scope for the most whimsical decision making

    being held not only without accountability and bey6nd criticism but also protected by atotally illogical and weird armour called contempt of court, are the essentialfeatures of this

    Constitution in a nut shell.

    ln the 70 years afterthe colonisers left us, it has been amply proved that what we havebeen having for a government, whether in the states or in the Center (and that includes thejudiciary, wouldn't it?) is anything but a government!The state of affairs would necessitate

    acknowledging Winston Churchill as a prophet or an oracle!

    Confused at identifying which is the worst organ of the Constitution I once set out to

    analyse the malaise through first principles. And is what I concluded:

    Amoung the three orgons of our Constitution the low-mokers are controlled by thepeople, bureaucrocy (yes, bureoucrocy, because without the octive support of thebureoucracy no politicion can do any wrong!) and fin.olly the judiciory; the law-enforcersore also controlled by the low-mokers and the judiciary. AnQthen there qre the eors andeyes of the people- the medio woiting to.sensotionalise every news involving the

    misdemeanour of these outhorities. tnspite of such strict supervision and control oll thotwe con hear these days ore about politician-bureoucrot-underworld nexus even though

    the fact remoins that nonb, worth the name, from this unholy nexus have ever beenpunished by the holier-than-thou judiciary.

    So now think how bod q system con be which is not only NOT subject to supervision butolso kept beyond critical observotion. Wel,l isn't our judiciory iust that? And do I need torecopitulote thot quip: power corrupts ond obsolute power corrupts obsolutely?

    I wouldn't waste my time reproducing whatever I have been writing about the need forjudicial reforms for the last decade and a half. But some of these have been posted as blogs

    and you may go through them if you are intersted. Of particular relevance would be:

  • ls the judiciary taking citizens for a ride? at h

    hVDU&bloeld= 1043020674

    Reforming our justice delivery system athttp: ^viforiustice. al l .' form ing_ou r_iustice_deliverv-svstem. htm IWho willjudge the judges? At hiudge_s.html

    Parliamentary standing committee on iudicial Reforms athttp://raviforiustice. blosspot.cor:rr /2011 ? /pa rlia menta rv_stan d ing_com m ittee-on. htm I

    httl://ravifori ustice, b lzens-revt

    lndian judiciary-who said what at n11lo5i ind ian-iud icia_rr-u/h.-r. id-whrt. ham I

    Access to Justice-A Stake holder,s Repo(http: ' f'012 ^ "cess-to-iustice-stake-holders-report.htmlDemocracy? East is East and West is West at http:1/www,

    The (Late) RTt Act at h

    And there are more...

    Now, coming specifically to your failures.

    Through out your tenure as the cJl you have been heard harping on the judges topopulation ratio as if that and that only isthe reason forthetotalfailure of the justicedelivery system presided over by the judiciary, which in turn hasseen presided over by youduring the last few years. This, no doubt, is a fraudulent claim. ln a country where morethan 50 pc of the population is worried only about the source of'their next meal, a basicneed as per Maslow's Law of Heirarchical Needs, the issue of justice comes only at the nextlevel of security needs or may 6e even at the next higher level of social needs. Leavinghypothesis aside, let me quote some statistics I have saved of 1999 vintage (from aPowerPoint Presentation attributed to Adv.KTS Tulsi):

    Cases filed in one year in lndiaMillion cases

    : 13.6 Million (1.,36,68,073) cases; USA: 93.g1

    Docket's per judge: lndia : 9g7 per Judge; USA: 3235 per Judgewhile the second set of figures are self explanatory, the first has to be understood in thecontext of the lndian population being 5 times the population of the US of A! ln otherwords, for every one fierson filing a case in lndia there are 35 persons filing cases in the USof Al









    Report of the NCRWC- a Citizens Review at

    Justice Delivery System- FAes at

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    Next, is the pretention of the judiciary that it is law unto itself, which has been reiteratedeven by you, through two actions. One, when the apex court, during yourtenure, had held aduly enacted law on the constitution of a National Judicial Appointments Commission void.And, two, the harping on the Collegiun system for appointing judges.

    Anybody who knows anything about the scheme of things provided in our Constitution willhave to agree that the law on NJAC had been enacted by the due process (quite anelaborate and tedious one at that!) specified in the Constitution. Now, when one recognisesthe fact that in the matter of citizens the judiciary can and does entertain only petitionsagainst violation of fundamental rights and similar logic applies to institutions also it isshocking that this duly enacted law has been abrogated by the judiciary!

    Coming to the Collegium system, again, anybody who is familiar with the facts will 6ave toagree that the judiciary had usurped the powers from the executive taking advantale of theweak'governments'led by P V Narasimha Rao and Atal BihariVajpayee. I see it alr6ost as arevenge of the judiciary which had come under scathing criticism for creeping whenrequirgd to bend during the dark days of the Emergency,

    Coming to brass tacks, it needs to be placed on record that the biggest threat to rule of lawis the total, I repeattotal, failure of the judiciary, to reform itself, move with the times andwork in the interest of the citizens of this country. As one who has been studyingthefunctioning of the judiciary fairly closely,for the last decade and half, my view is that 90 pcof the problems in the justice delivery system is due to the incompetence, indifference andeven arrogance of the managers of the judiciary.

    To cut this communication short, here are a few things which the judiciary must do urgentlybefore it becomes irrelevant and throws the nation into a civil war like situation:

    L. Ensure timely disposal of cases. (By the simple principle of justice delayed is justicedenied the judiciary is a total failure!)L1,. For this the first requirement if of course having competent judges. This will

    involve specialisation in subject specific laws. Though this is the'principleunderlying the constitution of various tribunals and commissions, in practicetheir performance have been worse than regular courts.

    1,.2. Even though the number of adjournments that can be given is specifed evenin the Consumer Protection Act, they are all violate$with impunity, Just to givean example, in OP 282199 of Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Palakkad (OPNo 85/95 transferred from Malappuram), the opposite party had producedinterim stay order on28/L0/99 from teh Kerala High Court and the stay wasvacated only on 8/6/2005 but through out this period the case was listed 58times and adjournedl lt was finally posted for orders on 6/7 /07 but was openedfor re-hearing suo moto on L5/21O8 and went on an adjournment spree from3l3l0g to 3L1512O10. During this spree it was adjourned 17 times, including 5times for want of members/President and 10 times for orders only! lt wasdismissed when an application was submitted under the RTI Act to find out thestatus I

    1.3. The next is limiting the number of cases listed for hearing to pragmatic levelsand ensuring that all the listed cases are heard and progressed to somemeaningful extent.ln lower courts more than a hundred cases are listed per daywhen actual hearings are conducted only in less than dozen. Most of the fewworking hours of the court is wasted in 'mustering'onlyl

  • 1.4. Cut out the holidays enjoyed by the judiciary exclusively. ln fact there is aneed for lower courts to work round the clock like police stations.

    Ensure justice is done in every case. lt is important not only for justice to be donebut for justice to be seen to be done. Unfortunately what we find is the opposite.Whether it is the final decision in Jayakrishnan master murder case, Soumya murdercase or armed forces officers rank pay case or Sahara case there are many questionsthat create doubts about the credibility, reliabiltiy and intergrity of the judiciary.Ensu re transpa rency in the processes an d fu nction ing of the co u rts. ln fact it isobnoxious that some cases linger on for decades when some, of the same category,are disposed off in a j