Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Contempt of Court - comment and response

In response to my post Contempt of Court - express your views a viewer has sent the following comments by email. Since the matter is of importance to the nation I am responding to the comment in the open forum.

“In my opinion, the law of contempt of court should be disbanded from our Judicial system with immediate effect, as long as we have weak system to punish a Judge. It has been noticed in many cases that, the wrong judgment of a lower court being dismissed or being awarded with higher punishment to the accused by the upper courts. None of the cases the lower court Judges never being accused or punished for his wrong judgement by the upper court Judges. Now a days Judiciary is frequently encroaching the domain of the executive and legislature and creating an uneasy situation, like the ruling against the unanimasouly passed bill by the Assembly to control the self financing collages in Kerala. It would be better to notice that, SFI publicly denounced against a Judge and who later himself refused to hear the case. The same thing happened to another judge who was hearing the Pamoline importing case. Our CM had shown the guts to denounce him publicly. Our Judiciary is currupted and the National Judicial commission bill must be implemented imediately. Corrupted judges should be punished and dismissed from service.”

The law is not about contempt of judges but about contempt of court. A citizen may have contempt for an individual judge but to express it publicly in a manner that would belittle the judiciary is a different matter. The courts are bestowed with sanctity by the People of India through the Constitution. No political party or citizen should be allowed to tamper with it.

Sometimes the judges do err in the verdicts they pronounce. That is not an 'offence' and does not attract punishment. The very system of appeals is meant to protect against such instances. The judges give decisions based on the evidence and arguments presented before them in the court; extra-judicial information or influences should have no role in that process. The judge who was ‘accused’ by SFI was right in declining to hear that particular case.

Whether a bill is enacted by the legislature unanimously is of no particular consequence. It is the Constitutional validity of the provisions of the Act that matters. As for the Kerala Act on self-financing colleges, the objectives could have been possibly achieved with proper planning and handling instead of going on the threat mode.

The remarks against judges by the student leader and the State CM were unfortunate. The same CM, while talking to the media on Sabarimala development a couple of days back said that a time bound program would be implemented after taking required permission from the ‘Honorable Court’. That is the right approach.

The same laws that apply to individual citizens are applicable to the judges as well. Corrupt judges should be certainly punished. The same procedure should apply to corrupt officials and to corrupt and incompetent ministers.


No comments: