12 May, 2021

The Secret, Opaque Guild Of The Men Of Law

Inbred corruption and gender discrimination are often intertwined in the Indian judiciary: indeed, corruption has been sexualised

Illustration by Saahil
The Secret, Opaque Guild Of The Men Of Law

I am particularly pleased that today we are witnessing two simultaneous debates. The first being on the appointment of judges to the high courts or the Supreme Court and the other on the sexual harassment of women interns, lawyers and even judges by members of the highest courts of the country, composed predominantly of males. The first debate is triggered by serious allegations of corruption in the judicial system and the unrepresentative character of its appointment structure. And the second one is induced by the male chauvinism and misogyny that prevails in large sections of the judiciary. I have long believed that there is a sexualisation of corruption in the judiciary sphere, one that exists almost freely at an underground level, unmentionable and unspeakable.

So what can be posited as common in the two debates? The impunity that judges enjoy clearly foments the pernicious structure of hierarchy within, the culture of sycophancy in the legal profession and the near-dynasty that exists in the matter of judges’ appointment. One look at some judges’...

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