31 July, 2021

Free Or Fettered?

To pick just one bone, take the visible haste in some cases—be it Arnab or Ayodhya—and the inexplicable slowness elsewhere. Dare we say…the jury is out on our judges?

Free Or Fettered?

Let truth be told. Ranjan Gogoi, the honourable Rajya Sabha MP, has as many detractors as diehard followers dep­ending on who is on which side. He was nominated to the Upper House months after his tum­ultuous tenure as Chief Justice of India ended during which he controversially fast-tracked the Ram Janmabhoomi hearings, ruled in fav­our of a Ram temple in Ayodhya, and also strangely sat to hear a case of sexual harassment against himself. Gogoi is a pol­arising figure as is our divided polity. Yet, when he recently remarked that the judiciary in the country was in a ramshackle state and that few preferred to go to the courts these days, Gogoi got our att­ention. Though an unlikely candidate, he did prick our collective conscience.

In saying what he said, the former CJI gave voice to cascading concerns about the current state of the judiciary, the Supreme Court included. Already driven up the wall by inordinate delays and backlogs that plague our courts—depriving millions of legal redressal guaranteed by the Constitution and forcing them into...

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