Thursday, January 14, 2010

Supreme Court Of India Must Be More Transparent And Fair

The Supreme Court is Supreme not because it is right but it is right because it is Supreme, says Praveen Dalal. According to him there are very few occasions when the trust and respect for the Indian Judiciary were at its nadir. During the infamous emergency imposition by the Center in the late 70s such public outrage was shown. Presently as well with the corruption in judiciary, slow speed of disposal of cases and adoption of double standards by the judiciary in matters like transparency and right to information, public trust and respect for judiciary has been on the lower side once again. However, the Delhi High Court has shown a great “Judicial Courage” by upholding the values of Constitution of India. It would be ironic if the Supreme Court becomes a “Judge of its own Cause” and negates the entire “Constitutional Philosophy” and “Administrative Law” of India, says Praveen Dalal.

Of late the Delhi High Court has shown tremendous judicial capabilities and strength by upholding the values of Constitution of India (COI). One after another it gave landmark judgments that were expected from the Supreme Court of India. At a time when the trust in the judicial system of India is falling to the lowest level this attitude of the Delhi High Court has emerged as a ray off hope in the dark clouds of judicial incapabilities.

While the District level courts are working more than good Delhi High Court has also joined this race and has become the sentinel of constitutional rights of Indian citizens. However, it cannot substitute the Supreme Court for many reasons. Although Delhi High Court is a court of law and a constitutional court, it has a major limitation. Its jurisdiction is confined to the limits of Delhi alone. On the other hand the Supreme Court of India is a “National Court” having wider powers and supreme authority.

The recent judgement of the Delhi High Court regarding declaration of assets by the Supreme Court is one of the best judgments it has ever given. Unfortunately, the same must have come from the Supreme Court itself. Having failed to do so, the Supreme Court must not now challenge the decision of Delhi High Court to itself in the Supreme Court. It would only undermine the dignity and trust of Supreme Court further. Instead the Supreme Court must now concentrate more upon damage recovery than further aggravating the situation, opined Praveen Dalal.

Time has come when the Supreme Court must change its mindset and attitude and gain more respect and dignity in the eyes of Indians. After all, it must remove the general perception prevalent among the Indian masses that the “Supreme Court is Supreme not because it is right but it is right because it is Supreme”.