April 25, 2011
Shoddy justice? Corrupt justice? The quality of the Indian Supreme Court
Thanks to Surya for his detailed comment on Sai Baba. I haven't had time to read everything but this bit shocked me (from here). Is this how justice is to be delivered in a free society? Where are reasons? I always thought that the courts had to provide at least some reasons for their decisions. It would appear that supreme court judges have become mini-dictators. [See also this]
Kamini Jaiswal : May I proceed with the case introduction ?
Judge Lahoti : Wait….there is a problem with the affidavit of the petitioner, I want it clarified.
Kamini : There is absolutely nothing wrong, the affidavit is perfectly fine.
Judge Lahoti : Why is the affidavit dated April 5th 2001 and you are coming up only now with the petition , in May ?
Kamini : The affidavit was signed by the petitioner and had to be mailed, along with his petition. The petition had to be mailed to him first so that he could sign it.
Judge Lahoti : How can that take more than a month ? This is an old affidavit , then.
Kamini : If you notice the address of the petitioner, he is in the United States, and mail takes a few days to reach there and then back here to India. We filed the petition more than 10 days back, citing reasons for urgent mention, and according to the court order, the case was posted for today. That is why we are here now.
Judge Lahoti : Well…it seems that the petitioner is in USA,it is my mistake. Anyway there are other reasons I want to clarify this petition. Why are you approaching the Supreme court ? We don’t want to hear this petition, please go to the High court in Andhra Pradesh.
Kamini : The reasons are clearly mentioned in the petition, and we are filing the petition under Article 32 of the constitution, which gives us the right to come to the Supreme court.
Judge Patnaik (second judge) : Why was the petition not filed in the Andhra High court under Article 226 ? Go to the High court.
Kamini : That is what I am coming to, Article 32 and Article 226, both grant the same rights in the Supreme court and High court respectively…..either option can be pursued. If I may proceed with my argument, I will explain why…
Judge Lahoti : No… go to the High court…
Kamini : Can I at least have a hearing ?
Judge Patnaik : ok.. go on…
(Kamini begins her arguments, and starts detailing all the media reports about Sai Baba, the statements of sexual molestation, etc….. when she reaches the point about UNESCO…. she is interrupted)
Judge Patnaik : This court doesn’t want to hear this petition, go to the Andhra High court.
Kamini : But I have not even come to the point explaining why we choose to file under Article 32 in Supreme court…
Judge Lahoti : You can do the same under Article 226 in Andhra Court…
Kamini : But that exactly is what I was going to say, about why I cannot do that there, can I please continue ?
Judge Patnaik : Why are you here, why don’t you go to Andhra ?
Kamini : It is clearly stated in the petition, and I am coming to that…
Judge Lahoti : what grounds ?
Kamini : The respondent Sai Baba has a 60,000 million rupee empire in Andhra Pradesh, with total control over the entire state government... how can we go there ? There are also lot of other political influences …
[Sanjeev's note: The four day STATE mourning in Andhra for Sai Baba]
Judge Patnaik : No, we are not going to allow this petition here, go to the Andhra High court..
Kamini : Bt if this was the issue, we could have been informed 10 days back, we were asked to come today…
Judge Patnaik : We are going to dismiss the petition.
Kamini : On what grounds ?
Judge Lahoti : We do not have to cite any reason for dismissing it.
Kamini : Can you at least give a ruling “with liberty to go to Andhra High court” ?
Judge Patnaik : No I am not going to do that.
Kamini : But that is what you were saying all along , if you want us to go to the Andhra High court, and if that is the reason you are not hearing this petition, can you please put it in writing ? We can then take it to the Andhra High court .
Judge Patnaik : No , I just asked you why you are here, and said that you should be in the Andhra High court. I am not going to include that in the ruling.
Kamini : Can we at least withdraw the petition from this court, and approach the Andhra High court ?
Judge Lahoti : you could approach the Andhra High court if you want to, but we are going to call this petition “dismissed”, and not allow you to withdraw it.
Judge Patnaik : Petition dismissed, no reasons are given by this court. That is the ruling.