Mathews J Nedumpara
National Lawyers’ Campaign For Judicial Transparency And Reforms
FOR THE ATTENTION OF PM
29 April 2018
Hon’ble Sri Narendra Modi,
The Prime Minister of India
Room No. 246, South Block,
Raisina Hills, New Delhi
Hon’ble Sri Modi Ji
Subject: 1. Review of the NJAC case 2. Dismantling of the collegium 3. Audience with your kind self.
Ref: Umpteen letters addressed to your Hon’ble self, some of which have not even been acknowledged.
I address you sir, in a telegraphic language as the President of NLC in the hope that atleast this will receive your personal attention in view of the great national importance of the subject.
- I was the only person who instituted a Substantive Petition in the light of the challenge of the NJAC by Fali Nariman & Co. that the Act is Constitutional and the Legislation being in the realm of policy is not justiciable. I also sought a declaration that the Judges 2 & 3 cases are null and void; per incuriam as well. I also sought a declaration that if the NJAC is justiciable, then every citizen has a right to be heard and not merely the Nariman & Co. and am afraid to say, the large brigade of sycophants of the Supreme Court Bar who consider it profitable to be seen defending the cause of the Judges, because the greatest law today is the “Face Law”. I asserted that the judges are the real petitioners in the NJAC case and the courts decision striking down the NJAC will be seen as the Judges delivering a judgement in their favour when they are the real actors/plaintiff.
- I sought the recusal of Justice Dave on the ground of conflict of interest. Justice Dave was a noble soul. His Lordship recused. Then a new bench headed by Justice J S Khehar was constituted. I sought not only the recusal of Justice J S Khehar, but also of Justices Madan Lokur & Justice Kurian Joseph. The reason is: if the NJAC was to be struck down, the collegium will be restored and Justice J Chalemeshwar, Justice Madan Lokur and Justice Kurian Joseph will be part of the Collegium. In other words, if Justice Kurian Joseph & Justice Madan Lokur were to strike down the NJAC their Lordship, may be unwittingly, be giving a berth for themselves in the cabal collegium which amount to acting in violation of the first principle of Natural Justice that nobody shall be a judge of his own cause. But my plea was rejected, sad though. Sir we lost the NJAC case only because of Rohatgi, He did not challenge the maintainability of Narimans Case. He did not plead that Judges 2 case is per incuriam.
- Today’s Times of India carries a caption: “From railway platform to IAS: A tale of grit and perseverance”. Statics show, not even 1% of IAS officers are the kith and kin of the serving or retired officers. On the contrary the Supreme Court of India today is really a ‘Sons Court of India’. If Justice K. M. Joseph, is elevated to the Supreme Court, then we will have two eminent judges who are the sons of the former judges of the Supreme Court. In Justice Gogoi, we have the son of former Chief Minister. CJI is the nephew of the former CJI. Even Fali Nariman has his son anointed as the Judge of the Supreme Court. We have in Chief Justice Bhosale the son of former Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Justice A A Sayed the nephew of Antulay, former Chief Minister of Maharashtra and in Justice Gavai a former Governor’s son. 90% of the Lawyers directly elevated to the Supreme Court and High Court are the sons of Judges or Senior Lawyers or big politicians.
- When it came to the violation of the equality clause of the Constitution, the Supreme Court of India is in the dock, not really the Governments or the Legislatures because the latter could be criticised. I could be hauled up in contempt for the uncomfortable truths which I have stated above; so too what I have been saying in the public domain. In many ways, I have been persecuted.
- The Supreme Court hears lawyers according to their stature. Fali Nariman, Jethmalani, et al; the Class A Seniors are heard to an unlimited extent: Then comes Class B , Class C and Class D seniors. The ordinary lawyers representing the poor man’s cause is hardly heard. The system of designation of Lawyers as ‘Seniors and others’ is the reason behind it. The judges themselves only give the “senior” tag. The sons, nay, kith and kin of judges and big lawyers get it as if a matter of right at a young age; blood is thicker than water.
- The judges are the real stumbling blocks in bringing about reforms which could make the institution accountable and transparent. The most emergent reform that need to be brought in are:
A. Restoration of NJAC by seeking a review of the judgement or by a fresh legislation- which narrows the role of the judges; so too, the Government and Civil Society should shoulder a definite role.
B. Dismantling the Collegium seeking review of the 2nd & 3rd Judges case. The Attorney General should seek a review.
C. Video recording of the proceedings of all the courts and tribunals including the Supreme Court of India.
D. Judicial Accountability Bill.
E. Repeal of Section 16 and 23(5) of the Advocates Act.
- There are many other reforms which are long overdue. However, to keep this letter in a telegraphic language, I am not venturing to mention.
- NLC is an organisation of the underdogs, who constitute to be 90% of the Legal Fraternity. We are small people. Underdogs. On any subject on Judicial reform, only the ‘Elite’ like Nariman & Salve are heard. Therefore, the concern of the common man and the ordinary lawyers are never heard. Sri Ravi Shankar Prasad and Arjun Jaitely, they all belong to the elite lawyers. Congress is worst in this regard. That party is a synonym for dynasty, and sycophancy. The elite lawyers like Sibal, Chidambaram, Singhvi, Tulsi and Khursheed dominate it.
- Today all concern is about whether the Collegium or the government or the NJAC should select the judges. This is a false premise, what is important is who are selected. The ordinary lawyers will find their place in the higher Judiciary as they have today in the subordinate Judiciary and as in civil services, when vacancies are notified and applications are invited.
- Sir you have come from a humble background, you will be able to sense and identify with the feeling, pains and sorrows of the underdog and the poor. Therefore, we once again seek an audience with your kindself which we hope will be granted this time.
In the unstinted faith that our request for an audience will not be a cry in the wilderness, I remain.
Mathews J Nedumpara
P.S.: The delegation of NLC will consist of 5-10 of its office bearers, depending on the decision of the PMO.