Mathews J Nedumpara
The order of Justice Nariman of the Supreme Court banning me from practicing in the Supreme Court which had expired was the banning of an idea whose time has come which no army can stop.
I was convicted for contempt in the face of the court for quoting Shri Fali S Nariman, Justice Nariman’s father, that in the matter of designation as Senior Advocate, the only thing that matters is the seniority reckoned from the date of enrollment. That was the only thing I have been in agreement with Shri Fali S Nariman. I was convicted for taking the name of Shri Fali Nariman and saying what I quoted above which I wonder how amounts to contempt in the face of the court, in my absence, without even a proceeding, without a charge, not even an oral one, without a lawyer in my defense, without a hearing, whatsoever. I came to know of the contempt proceedings against me which was not even instituted, while far away at Mumbai from the print and electronic media on 12th of March, 2019. My conviction shocked me. It shouldn’t have, because I had a few past experiences of shocking abuse of the contempt power. A lawyer, if he dares to expose corruption and nepotism and unethical practice in judiciary should be prepared for an onslaught of the abuse of the contempt power. I wrote on 11.2.2011 against a person claiming to be a conduit of then Chief Justice, Mohit Shah. Dr. Birendra Saraf, who is known to be a sycophant made his client file an affidavit alleging that I had called him impersonating Justice Vasifdar. Call records of the service providers were called for. Armed with the call records which proved that I did not call, but it was in fact Saraf’s client who had called me 9 times of which 7 were missed calls and spoke to me for a few seconds. I insisted for initiation of perjury/contempt proceedings against Dr. Saraf and his client. It was a packed courtroom with lawyers, litigants and the press. Sri Kambatta, AG, was present as the amicus curiae. Justice Mohit Shah had no option than to initiate proceedings against Saraf and his client. But he went on dictating in a low voice for almost an hour. Alas, taking everyone by surprise, he issued contempt notice to me. Nothing could be more weird than the reason offered which was that there was “contact” between the two numbers. There was contact because he called me, which even a child would have readily understood.
There were certain issues of transparency concerning Chief Justice Manjula Chellur, since retired. We spoke against her elevation, though we stand for far greater representation of women in the SC. She constituted a 5 judge bench, an unusual practice so far as high courts are concerned, apparently to teach me a lesson. There is literal apartheid in Bombay HC. The elite class of kith and kin of judges and senior lawyers and the rest, the underdogs. Bombay HC is known for its lobbies and parochialism. We sought the transfer of judges whose immediate relatives are practicing in the Bombay HC itself. Whomsoever against whom we raised concerns of transparency have chosen to invoke the contempt jurisdiction as a means of silencing us. We were determined because unless the 14 agendas of the NLC become a reality, the Indian judiciary is doomed. Most important of the reforms which we seek are:
(a) open selection of judges by advertisement of vacancies and invitation of applications. Because almost all judges of the SC and CJs and senior judges of the HCs are all the kith and kin of judges/senior lawyers or their juniors or the kith and kin of Governors/Cabinet ministers/those politically connected
(b) Video recording of court proceedings and making available to the litigants such records. Live streaming we are not against, but it is sought for as more of a gimmick
(c) Total abolition of the designation of lawyers as Senior Advocates
(d) Abolition of the collegium
(e) Promoting pro bono litigation where there exists real parties, a person aggrieved instead of the nonsense of PIL which nothing but using the judiciary as a tool for personal and political gains
(f) abolition of Article 141 because judgements which run into hundreds of pages does not deal with the real issues of the case and is nothing but the cutting and pasting of judgements of previous cases. See the judgements in the NJAC case running into thousands of pages, judges 2 case almost the same and the like.
(For details kindly access NLC’s website)
I was convicted for challenging the practice of Shri Fali S Nariman in the SC where his son is a Judge. The greatest menace of the SC today is the monopoly of the institution by a few dynasties of lawyers and judges and the attempt of a few powerful lawyers to control the governance of this country by using the Supreme court as a means to secure personal and political advantage.
I must thank one and all, who have stood with me in my pursuit for a truly transparent, independent, impartial judiciary, which in the not so far future will have the due representation of the sons and daughters of the common man, a court whose doors are open to the common man who cannot engage a high flying, politically connected, so called senior lawyer.