By Dr. Abdul Ruff
The importance of judiciary in any system of government cannot be disputed or questioned chiefly because without it system can collapse. It is well known that flaws in judicial system or delivery of justice, including negative phenomena, can harm the proper functioning of jurisprudence and badly hamper genuine judgment delivery without favor and nepotism and without getting involved in corrupt practices. Any negative phenomena in judiciary can negatively affect the life of a given society by encouraging even the creation of fake governments.
There is a general understanding in the public domain that money can make law salute the criminals and frauds and without money none can get justice from courts. This public impression is devastating for any system of government as it harms the legal system. Judges occupy a very special status in any system. Unlike other professionals, including teachers, medical doctors and persons engaged in examination works, etc, where there is a possibility of corruption, judges cannot afford to be insincere in their duty in any manner.
Corruption, common not just in third world but even in western countries, has affected even in military and judiciary. Bribery, being practiced by most people, has harmed the poor and common people the most. There is some hope that judiciary can help and save them. Rulers and parliaments, themselves are basically corrupt, don’t wish to reform the corrupt system. Not many people are happy with the judiciary and judges for their apparently faulty judgments and reasons for this state of affairs could be several. Reliability of judgments is questioned.
Good crops of judges can deliver the most genuine judgments to make a nation proud of its judiciary system, its capacity to deliver true judgments. Common people cannot afford to approach higher courts and hence judgments in lower courts also have to be truthful and credible.
Delay in judgments by prolonging the hearing for too long in repeated adjournments, is just one issue. Lawyers make huge money by helping their clients with lies, fake documents and false evidences is another important issue. Courts’ disability to comprehend the truth on the basis of real facts rather than going by concocted proofs and evidences is another issue. People at large are fast losing faith judiciary and judges. And that is a devastating trend a society can witness. The belief that money can win even the most difficult cases because it can engage buy not only the top lawyers but also buy the judges is nota healthy sign of any normal society.
There could be two streams in law education – one training for lawyers and another creation of trust worthy judges. Training for judges could be undertaken by law academy of efficient judges and academicians who oppose corruption of any kind.
In order to loot the nation’s resources and promote bribery-dowry system, Indian politicians have done away with what is very dear to a nation: honesty and truth. That is the crux of negative predicaments of Indian nation. A parliament of rich and agents of corporate lords cannot be honest. The rich lawyers, who become judges by immoral means and after playing all sorts of mischief with the common people that approach them with genuine problems for help, cannot honestly decide the fate of Indian nation, either.
It can’t be denied that a few genuine advocates have made themselves into good judges as well. They deliver genuine judgments. But that is not the case in many cases where judges use constitution to validate certain hypothesis to help even the known criminals and international frauds.
The legal premises or thesis no innocent should be punished but as many guilty persons as possible can escape a possible punishment is not a healthy argument. How can a corrupt and dishonest lawyer become a honest and lawful after becoming a judge or justice? No wonder corruption has become a part of Indian justice delivery system and jurisprudence
When dishonest lawyers become judges they continue to mint money and this explains as to why many judges are being caught across the globe in bribery scandals. Won’t there be murder of judgments in courts? Why politicians and top bureaucrats boldly take bribes and make illegal wealth so openly? When corrupt and greedy lawyers are the judges in courts, people cannot expect real and honest judgments. Can thieves and criminals become police and judges? But that perhaps is happening. The judiciary and jurisprudence has fallen a mute victim (Your lord!). Politicians and government functionaries take undue advantage of this disastrous lacuna, detrimental to the honest upbringing of a society.
Of course, no suggestion is made here that Indian system would be fair and honest if judges are trained right from the beginning after their excellent degrees in law (unlike the shameful practice of undergoing a law course just for obtaining degrees without proper attendance, at times on payment basis to practice law) especially as future hopes of Indian honest and fair judiciary judges. Much more is required to make the system work honestly.
Corruption in courts at high levels, involving judges is a serious concern. Bribery for judges is very serious crime. But when judges accept or demand bribes for ‘favourable’ judgments they become criminals. Just like politicians and bureaucrats do, Judges use middlemen for making quick wealth as they won’t be caught or punished for disproportionate asset cases. That makes the entire system of a nation dirty. Hence judges have to be saved from dishonesty.
But the most significant fault or lacuna lies in the very selection process of judges for higher courts, where honesty and truthfulness of judges should be the top priority.
This article argues for a special stream of direct judges to handle serious cases. A healthy judiciary in all respects is a positive sign any nation can be proud of as its major achievement. It is a crucial issue and making judiciary work honestly should be the priority of every government in the world so that a society behaves well and works in the best traditions. Judges should be differentiated from lawyers. A law student can become a law teacher in nay institution but that cannot be extended to a law becoming a judge in the field of court law. That is cause of all problems Indians suffer for too long – created partly by politicians, partly by the governments and elected representatives of people, partly by the parliament and state assemblies, partly by the media lords, partly by mafias, partly by illogical police, partly by the judiciary and partly by the helpless people of India.
Judiciary can do a lot for the benefits of people and nation of India. Understandably, there are many people, including lawyers who are interested in meeting select judges and senior lawyers possibly trying to fix cases on huge down payments. Judges are not like administrators or teachers or any category of people who manage things. They are highly responsible and hence highly respectable people who are the conscience keepers of the nation and society. Judges cannot be compared with officals politicians, MPs or MLAs, or ministers or cricketers – primarily because generally they tell lies, cheat people, play mischief and don’t deliver and incapable of deliver justice to people. Judges have the power to ruin or upgrade the fate of humans. Hence judges are serious people.
India follows the British system of justice. Some aspects have been borrowed from USA. But we have not made efforts to make our judicial system genuine as we make the same blunders as the western systems commit in order to protect the big criminals as lawyers and judges joint play mischief.
India could initiate steps to make the judicial system really credible and judgments very genuine. India could urgently create Judicial Commission to promote good lawyers and create real judges not from the best of lawyers as the practice now but from among the direct recruits as judges. The said commission should have top luminaries of law and top judges who served the nation with dedication and dignity and without getting involved in any immoral disputes or bribery scandals – officially or otherwise, Judges with genuinely clean image would be in the commission in order to save judiciary and jurisprudence. The recruits as new judges also should have enough experience in watching and commenting on proceedings and judgments for a number of years and they should be tested before appointments. During probation their professional movements should be carefully watched monitored and evaluated by a team of specialists so that judges are really worthy leaders in law.
There is no need to expect western ‘democracies’ to launch the necessary judicial reforms by preparing judges in a special stream. Some of the issues that are raised here were discussed earlier in another article. Another article would be necessary to elaborate the judgmental lacuna in some details.
A positive note: since there are good and honest judges a system functions continuously, notwithstanding pressures from the lawyers and money lords.