HomeNewsDire Need for Judicial Accountability Commission..!

Dire Need for Judicial Accountability Commission..!

Justice Krishna Iyer did call for a Judicial Accountability Commission in India - long, long  ago that no  one remembers. Iyer said -

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Dire Need for Judicial Accountability Commission

*    Narasimhan Vijayaraghavan

“ The Judiciary’s power to manage its internal affairs insulates courts from inappropriate political influence,” wrote the Chief Justice, Supreme Court. Last year a senior Judge, now in the thick of a full blown controversy, in a public address , accused the media of spreading the false notion that the Justices are merely politicians in robes. Such criticism, he said, “makes it sound as though you are just always going right to your personal preference,” adding, “They think you become like a politician!”

There is little doubt that Supreme Court, as an institution is a political one. It is not a notion. It is a fact. Justice Holmes said so. Justice Cardozo seconded it. Lord Denning affirmed it. Justice Krishna Iyer ran ballistic with it. Politics invading the top court is glaringly shameful and not merely the slip is showing. It is worse.

It is time for an independent ‘outside’ institution to ‘audit’ the Justices. The internal mechanism is not creaking. It is broken. Justices are not holy angels. They are human with many a frailty and failing. They have families and foibles. How can we accept that ‘in house’ machinery was the best solution as ‘Independent Judiciary’ may otherwise be compromised? Independent Judiciary, as precept and practice is inalienable. Too sacrosanct to allow ‘outsiders look in’ said  a retired Justice. “ We are adults. Not urchins to be told”,implored he.

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The ‘noise’ on  the need for a Judicial Accountability Commission to be manned by eminent academics and legal luminaries is here and now. It is no longer hush, hush. The politicians on all sides of the divide are convinced that this ‘insulation’ of the Supreme Court propounded by the Chief Justice is not working. Calls are going out that in the name of ‘separation of powers’ and ‘independent judiciary’, the law lords have had a long and free rein of unsupervised reign. It needs to change.

Before anyone jumps up and down and squeals at this intemperate and contempt laden hypothesis, sorry, one is safely alluding to what is going on in SCOTUS- Supreme Court of United States ( SCOTUS). Not ours. Not by a mile.

The claim that the Justices’ opinions are politically neutral is becoming increasingly hard to accept, especially from Justice Clarence Thomas, whose wife, Virginia (Ginni) Thomas, is a vocal right-wing activist. She has declared that America is in existential danger because of the “deep state” and the “fascist left,” which includes “transsexual fascists.” Thomas, a lawyer who runs a small political-lobbying firm, Liberty Consulting, has become a prominent member of various hard-line groups. Her political activism has caused controversy for years. For the most part, it has been dismissed as the harmless action of an independent spouse. But now the Court appears likely to secure victories for her allies in a number of highly polarizing cases—on abortion, affirmative action, and gun rights.

Many Americans first became aware of Ginni Thomas’s activism on January 6, 2021. That morning, before the Stop the Steal rally in Washington, D.C., turned into an Insurrection on the Capitol, resulting in the deaths of at least five people, she cheered on the supporters of President Donald Trump who had gathered to overturn Biden’s election. In a Facebook post that went viral, she linked to a news item about the protest, writing, “love maga people!!!!” Shortly afterward, she posted about Ronald Reagan’s famous “A Time for Choosing” speech. Her next status update said, “god bless each of you standing up or praying.” Two days after the insurrection, she added a disclaimer to her feed, noting that she’d written the posts “before violence in US Capitol.” (The posts are no longer public.)

US Congress is hotly debating whether Ginni Thomas needs to summoned to Jan 6 House Committee as her Text Messages are daringly and glaringly in partisan political terrain. And her admission that she told her ‘best friend’ being privy  to her shenanigans is suggestively ‘ Justice Clarence Thomas’ as that is how they have called each other all these years- as video clips rolled out are damning. And Justice Thomas’ was the lone dissenting vote, on the Bench, to oppose Trump’s archival documents to be scrutinised by the US Congress, when recusal may have been decent, dignified and noble.

Justice Krishna Iyer did call for a Judicial Accountability Commission in India – long, long  ago that no  one remembers. Iyer said –

The Bangalore Principles of Judicial Conduct  are intended to establish standards for ethical conduct of judges. They are designed to provide guidance to judges and to offer the judiciary a framework for regulating judicial conduct. Six core values are recognized: Independence, impartiality, integrity, propriety, equality and finally competence and diligence. The Principles define their meaning and elaborate in detail on what kind of conduct is to be expected in concrete terms of the persons concerned in order to put the respective value into practice. But, they have not ‘worked’. That was his view. We are only talking about Clarence Thomas as his ‘best friend’ Ginni Thomas, you see.

***

“ The expressions are author’s personal views”.

 ( Author is practising advocate in the Madras High Court)

உடனுக்குடன் தினசரி தமிழ்ச் செய்திகளை உங்களது டெலிகிராம் ஆப்.,பில் பார்க்கலாம்!
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