21 January, 2021

The Justices Of Class

Meant to be the poor man's weapon, the PIL now serves the rich - and many judges and lawyers are up in arms.

The Justices Of Class
Courtastrophe'-that's the new addition to the Indian legal lexicon. Coined by retired Supreme Court Justice V. Krishna Iyer to describe a dangerous malaise that, he feels, has crept into the Indian legal system-namely the misuse of the Public Interest Litigation (pil). Iyer says his "heart is full of judicial consternation" at its wrongful use and the total insensitivity of today's judges towards the underprivileged.

A growing clutch of lawyers and former judges have been very critical of the judiciary's total disregard for and bias against what they call the daridra narayana class: the slum-dweller, the repressed gender, the bonded labourer and the Dalit scavenger. A stratum distinct from members of the creamy layer: a communal leader, a political operator or a manipulator acting on behalf of an mnc. Notes Justice . Krishnaswamy Reddiar, former judge of the Madras High Court: "Technically, there can't be a judicial tilt towards the rich and influential. It's for the courts-high court and the apex court-to see that the pil remains an empowering tool in the hands of the needy....



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