The current political storm set off by the opposition parties through their unprecedented move to impeach the Chief Justice of India accusing him of corruption, failure to protect the independence of judiciary and misusing his authority would have severe consequences on the Indian judicial System. The legal luminaries and observers are really amused at the timing of the move and the real reasons behind it. The impeachment against the CJI, has been doing rounds ever since the unprecedented press conference held by the Judges but it was time and again ignored since the Constitutional requirements for inviting the extreme step was not even visible in its minutest form. The opposition parties have their due rights in a democracy to criticize the ruling regime and the policies of the ruling dispensation, when put to such criticism it would also act as a check, which is much required in a healthy and maturing democracy. But, when such criticism evolves itself into a sense of revenge, wherein, the Institutions are dragged into frequent controversies it would result in the definite failure of the concerned Institutions.
The biggest blow the Indian Judiciary would suffer in the aftermath of these controversies is the trust deficit thrust upon it which cannot be bridged in any manner. The doubting selves, would be pointing to instances after instances for proving their theory of submerging justice, the sad part of the story is that a well considered decision hereafter would be prone to the viral attacks of conspiracy theories which would bring the Judges who passed the judgment under a cloud of suspicion. It’s a basic truth that there cannot be two winners at a time and the losing faction if it keeps weaving the apprehensions, it would lead to vivid theories of submerging justice, and the ensuing chaos would ensure the fall of the Institution. The Apex Court cannot be compelled to tow any other line apart from its duty to up hold justice, the political ramifications of the cases which it deals on every day should not become a factor for dragging the Apex Court itself into the controversies. Those who drag the Apex Court into such demeaning controversies should realize that the Judges are dispensing their Constitutional obligation and they should not be subjected to such criticism which would undermine the Independence of Judiciary. In layman’s view every Institution shall have a lead figure who would oversee the functioning of the Institution; absolute equality which abolishes any such overseeing would cause chaos. The prime importance shall be attributed to the independence of judges within such a system where they will discharge their Constitutional obligations without any fear or interference. The sowing of seeds of fear of “submerging justice” would destabilize the judicial system, as the debate itself is unhealthy and capable of destroying the independence of judiciary. The fire of mistrust would creep into the minds of various sections of society who would demand judges of their choice, their caste, their religion, their sect for deciding their respective cases. Those fearful days are not far when such illogical unashamed demands would come forth if things are heading in the present manner.
The emerging trend of igniting controversies soon after disposing a matter that too bringing the judges under the cloud of suspicion would stop the wheels of justice. The Apex Court had witnessed such chaos in the past too, the impeachment motion cannot become a tool to intimidate the judges. The pages of history speak volumes on the failure of the very same parties to ensure an impeachment when misbehavior was proven in Inquiry in Justice Ramaswamy episode. Then, there was a duty to speak and act, but the motion when put to vote saw a tactical abstaining by the Congress which was the result of political undercurrents and regional pulls and pressures. Justice Ramaswamy, a Supreme Court judge, was found guilty of willful and gross misuse of office while being the Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court. The question which would echo now would be why this sound and fury when the allegations itself are too flimsy herein to initiate any such motion and why the tactical abstention in the past when there was a duty to pass the motion.