*Mathews J Nedumpara*
*Don’t dismiss SLPs of common man in ” 93 seconds” to hear PILs of celebrity lawyers for days and weeks, an appeal to the CJI and other judges*
The Collegium system of judges appointing themselves, mostly their kith and kin, near and dear and the system of judges anointing mostly their kith and kin as Senior Advocates are pernicious practices which have destroyed the institution of judiciary, nay, both a fraud on the Constitution.
The Supreme Court has absolutely failed the people of this country. It has no time to hear and decide the real cases involving the lives, properties and liberties of the common man. The average time it devote to hear an SLP is “93 seconds”. It spends all its time to hear matters which it has no jurisdiction at all to deal with, namely, of executive and legislative policies. For example, NJAC, Article 370, appointment of CEC, electoral bonds. It dismisses SLPs and writ petitions by one line orders saying “The SLP is dismissed”. The court has abrogated Article 137, a provision for review. Review Petitions are dismissed in chambers without a hearing.
A petition under Article 226 in the Bombay High Court is heard by a bench of two judges. There is no provision for an intra- court appeal. An aggrieved person has only one remedy, an SLP that is dismissed in 93 seconds. The common man of this country are not fully aware that what I have stated above is the true scenario. The entire justice delivery system in this country has nearly collapsed leaving litigants with no option than to invoke Article 136, SLP.
Despite the summary rejection of the SLPs, for 90 percent of all SLPs are dismissed with a 93 seconds hearing on an average, the litigants, desperate as they are, continue to file SLPs in the fond hope that they would get justice. That could be the only reason why inspite of the arbitrary dismissal of SLPs, the number of SLPs being filed has steadily increased. A day is not far off when the average hearing time is still reduced from 93 seconds today, to may be 30 seconds or less.
The primary role of the Supreme Court is that of an ultimate court of appeal, a people’s court, where an ordinary citizen can seek justice. A few super elite class of lawyers in Delhi, Venugopal, Nariman, Dhawan, Sibal, Singhvi and their ilk seek to undo this. They want the SC to hear only “constitutional issues”! They have fooled the people of this country for long making the common man believe that “constitutional issues” are some great rocket science which the ordinary mortals cannot digest. They say so to suit their vested interests. Nariman even wrote an article in the Indian Express in 2014 asking for the abolition of two judge benches!
Today, the constitution bench of five judges and seven judges which hear issues which are not even justiciable consume most of the time of the Court. Live telecast of the hearing of constitution benches means great publicity for them at the cost of the cause of the common litigant. The Parliament has increasingly become irrelevant. Matters concerning the public at large, the Supreme Court decides behind their back. These super elite lawyers are the new power centers. The fundamental principle that no court has the jurisdiction to decide matters concerning the public at large without hearing them, is forgotten.
The so called PILs serve as a platform for Kapil Sibal, Narimans, et al to propagate their celebrity status, enables them to charge lakhs of rupees as fees even for a two minute hearing in SLPs.
The concepts of “basic structure” and “PIL” are contrary to the elementary principles of jurisprudence. They are a fraud on the Constitution. To keep this article brief I cannot elaborate it. I have dealt with it in many of the articles penned in the past.
Before the PIL era, we had a Supreme Court which the founding fathers had truly envisaged, a court which confined to it’s domain, it was not then the most powerful court on the planet. There was then no jurisprudence of “face value”. SLPs were heard elaborately, detailed judgements were written when leave was declined, review petitions were heard in the open court, detailed judgments were rendered when rejected or allowed. The Supreme Court was then a court which discharged it’s constitutional duty unlike what it is today.
The senior designation system and the “face value” jurisprudence is by all means a threat to the Supreme Court. It has shaken it’s very foundations. No amount of sweet talk or self glorification by the court can save it from total collapse.
Chief Justice Chandrachud is a very eminent judge. Am sure the Chief Justice and other puisne judges of the Supreme Court will take serious note of the very existential threat and take corrective steps, namely, to refrain from constituting constitutional benches of five judges or even of larger strength for it serves no purpose except to capture media attention, a fleeting fame. Abolish designation system and become a people’s court doing real justice to the common man knocking at its door crying for justice.
Non listing of WP nos.1005 of 2022 and 320 of 2023 which my humble self and others have filed seeking the abolition of the collegium and the senior designation system, two systems which we consider most pernicious and which stand as a bottleneck in the reformation of our justice delivery systemSeptember 29, 2023
- September 29, 2023