Well, the time has already come quite a while ago, when there should be talk about the entire system. The talk should have started before, because all the important parts of the system, they are working, but the objective or result of that work is, instead of happiness for the public, turning out to be misery. Now, if we say that lack of responsibility is increasing between the parts of the system and an arbitrary way of taking decisions is developing, then it will not be wrong at all. And, if we do not talk now, then the existing system will be put in danger.
The meaning of ‘system’ pertains to the four primary parts that run democracy, that is to say the Legislature, the Executive, the Judiciary and the Media. Out of these, three parts have been stated explicitly and in the form of the fourth, it is believed in democracy that when contradictions develop between the three explicitly stated parts, then the media clearly puts those contradictions about them in front of the public, and indeed tries as well to remove the imbalance. The method of working of the legislature and the executive in the country has been deteriorating every year and now, when we are in 2014, new elections have taken place, in spite of that the legislature and executive are miles away from the feeling of responsibility. They think that whatever is happening for the past 60 years, that should keep happening. In a way the legislature and the executive are, hand in hand, not leaving out any fraction in increasing the sufferings of the public.
The courts have engendered so much fear of contempt that nobody is thinking about doing a sting operation on them, but if there were to be a sting operation, then we will see what disturbing things are done at one level. It is true that a greater misuse of the courts too has started.
The most important part of this democratic system is the judiciary. The state of the judiciary has deteriorated so much that till one level, many samples of corruption can openly be seen in front of the eyes anywhere. The courts have engendered so much fear of contempt that nobody is thinking about doing a sting operation on them, but if there were to be a sting operation, then we will see what disturbing things are done at one level. It is true that a greater misuse of the courts too has started. Where a request used to be made to intervene in the right manner, there itself there are many vested interests, who misuse the courts to block a correct decision and because of this, so many cases are lying pending in the courts that the ones on whom injustice is actually happening cannot be helped by the courts. Justice has become so expensive that in the jails of India, thirty to forty per cent such people are imprisoned who are just not able to go to the Supreme Court for justice. But this is one facet of it.
The second facet of the judiciary got to be seen recently in the Supreme Court of the country. The example of one of the country’s top businessmen, Subroto Roy, will be sufficient. An unknown person filed a case against Subroto Roy and on that case, a discussion took place in the Supreme Court. The Honourable judges sent Subroto Roy to jail and gave an order that he deposit 20,000 crore rupees in cash in court, then he will get bail. This probably is the first case in the history of the world in which the Supreme Court kept the condition of depositing 20,000 crore rupees in cash. The one who is the head of the business, the one who has to deposit 20,000 crore rupees in cash, without whose advice, without whose help and without his taking a decision neither can money be collected nor can it be withdrawn, nor can property be sold, that person is locked in jail.
When the Honourable judges of the Supreme Court were asked that after all for which offense has Subroto Roy been kept in jail, has anything been proved, then they said, ‘no, where is he in jail?’ In English they said, ‘he is in our custody.’ How compatible this statement is with the spirit of Indian democracy should be discussed. It raises doubts on the way of working of one part of the system. That the Supreme Court behaves like a police inspector, this is beyond understanding. The judicial system of our country is bound to uphold the democratic rights of a democratic country.
If the Government or executive interferes with someone’s fundamental rights or put obstacles in someone’s work, then it is expected that the Supreme Court or our judiciary will intervene and for whoever the injustice has been done, will ease matters. But the example we are talking about, in that, while accepting the decision of the Honorable judges of the Supreme Court, respecting it, this question is again and again popping up in the mind that after all, what are those criteria on which one person, who has to comply with the decision given by the Supreme Court, is himself in jail. The Supreme Court is not ready to listen to anything. And now, a new observation has come forward that if Subroto Roy has to negotiate any deal or sell any land or has to do anything to collect the 20,000 crore rupees set as bail, then he can come out of jail, hold discussions and after the specified hours, go back to jail. Our importunity is not to the Supreme Court; our importunity is to the Constitution which has the responsibility for protecting democracy in this country. Be it the judiciary, the executive or the legislature, they should work only according to the Constitution. Where one crosses their limit, they should themselves apply brakes. Under this expectation we raise this question that if now the talk doesn’t happen, then any part can at any time become unbridled and autocratical and cannot accept what another is saying.
The orders of the Supreme Court for not only Public Interest Litigations, but in decisions given in other kinds of cases too have not been followed and the Supreme Court is not worried about it. The second irony is this that out of the political parties themselves responsible for running the democratic system, the Congress party, to get the position of Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha, is violating the rules of the Lok Sabha and is saying with stubbornness that it will go to court with this issue. In the Lok Sabha, a big debate has taken place once on whether the Supreme Court is bigger or the Lok Sabha is bigger. The Lok Sabha makes laws, can amend the Constitution, that is why it was accepted with a majority that the standing or position of the Lok Sabha or Parliament is supreme, but the Congress party is doing the work of bringing that position itself into an interrogative, questionable circle. Maybe the Honorable judges of the Supreme Court will be smiling on hearing that let the great knowledgeable people of this political party come to court once, then see how we mock them.
The media, instead of raising such questions is presenting an example of flattery, sycophancy and ignorance everywhere. The media is far from the questions of the public, is far from the sufferings of the people, is far from the development of the nation. The media doesn’t make the crisis of water, the environmental crisis, the unemployment crisis, the corruption crisis and the inflation crisis its subject. It takes that issue in hand, the result of which is to sidetrack the attention of the public away from the sufferings of the public. We don’t want to talk much about the media, we don’t want to talk much about the judiciary either, but we do want to say this much that keeping in mind the matter of Subroto Roy, this debate – whether the four parts of our system are really working properly — should take place. Could it not be that in some days, contradictions reach that place where the powers challenging the democratic system will be seen standing more powerful than democracy or the democratic system? The time to understand this worry has come.