OPINION

Monthly Archives: NOVEMBER 2019


Does the higher judiciary have the necessary resilience to bounce back?
AFTER JUSTICE RANAJAN GOGOI'S RETIREMENT
21.11.19 - VIPIN PUBBY

JUSTICE RANJAN GOGOI, who laid down the office of the Chief Justice of india, has left a controversial legacy that has dented the institutional credibility of Supreme Court and has raised questions that have remain unanswered. Several of his actions and the procedures adopted by him would continue to be debated and their impact would be felt for a long long time.

He would also be remembered for a spate of judgements at the fag end of his career which dealt with important and long pending issues. The hurry to deliver some judgements and the tendency to ignore some other very contentious issues would also be discussed for a long time to come.

Justice Gogoi kicked off controversies even before he was appointed at the chief justice of India when he led three other judges to hold an unprecedented press conference (in pic) against the then Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra. ...
  


The Ayodhya verdict — Sanctifying aggression: Well done, My Lords!
MIGHT IS RIGHT
10.11.19 - Justice Markandey Katju

I SUBMIT that the recent Ayodhya verdict of the Supreme Court will go down in the annals of Indian legal history in the same category as its decision in ADM Jabalpur vs Shivakant Shukla, 1975, the only difference being that unlike the latter, in this one there is not a single courageous dissent.

In substance it has said that might is right, and has laid down a dangerous precedent sanctifying aggression. It is like a bully snatching a kid's sandwich in school, and the teacher giving a 'balanced judgment' by allowing the bully to keep the sandwich, and giving the kid a slice of bread instead.

One need not go into the correctness or otherwise of the Court's finding that the Babri Masjid was built by one of Babur's generals after destroying a Hindu temple on the site.
 
It is true that many Hindu temples were destroyed by Muslim invaders, and mosques ...
  


The Ayodhya Verdict: A Political Judgement?
AYODHYA, LAW, JUSTICE AND US
09.11.19 - Harcharan Bains

FIRST OF ALL, we all know that it is a "political judgement." In the present case, that does not necessarily mean that it is a bad judgement.

As facts stand, neither the Hindus nor the Muslims could prove their legitimate title claims on the land before the court. Hindus could not prove that a temple was demolished to build the mosque. The Muslims could not prove that Hindus have not been praying here even after the mosque came into being.
 
The court agrees that that though the Hindus could not prove the existence of a temple precisely on this spot, the Muslims managed to prove the presence of the Mosque for as long as they claimed . But they could not prove that they always prayed here. This was funny. What else would the Muslims do with the mosque?
 
But matters got complicated as the Hindu side was able to prove ...
  


Would Kashmiris reconsider the demand for Azadi?
KASHMIRIS AND FREEDOM
07.11.19 - Justice Markandey Katju

Many Kashmiris demand azadi (independence) for Kashmir, and some non Kashmiris too e.g. some students of JNU etc who supported the demand. To examine the justification for this demand certain basic concepts need be cleared up.

The test of every political act or system is one, and only one: does it raise the standard of living of the people? Does it give them better lives? Keeping this firmly in mind, it is evident that azadi itself cannot be an end in itself, it can only be a means to an end. The end must be raising the standard of living of the people, and giving them better lives. If azadi leads to this end it should certainly be supported, but not otherwise.

Let us take a historical example. Kashmir was independent till 1587 when the last independent ruler Yusuf Shah Chak was deposed by Mughal Emperor Akbar, and Kashmir was incorporated into ...
  


Justice, like charity, must begin at home
LAWYERS VS POLICE
06.11.19 - VIPIN PUBBY


The recent clash between lawyers and policemen in the national capital and the subsequent merciless beating up of individual policemen and even litigants by unruly lawyers is not just a matter of shame but of serious concern.

Videos of a section of lawyers acting like goons and pouncing on policemen in uniform have gone viral and have shocked the common people. All this led to an unprecedented protest by hundreds of policemen and their family members near the Police headquarters in Delhi.

It all started with a minor incident between a lawyer and a constable over parking of a vehicle in the Tis Hazari court complex on Saturday. Soon a large number of lawyers gathered in support of their colleague and additional police forces reached the site. Heated arguments led to a clash which left about 20 policemen and eight lawyers injured.
 
Lawyers, who claimed that some shots were also fired by ...
  



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