Mumbai, July 14: A “revolution, not reform” is needed to keep the institution of judiciary serviceable for the common man, senior Supreme Court judge Justice Ranjan Gogoi said, asserting that the judiciary would have to be more “pro-active” and on the “front foot”.
Justice Gogoi is the senior-most judge and is likely to be recommended to succeed Chief Justice Dipak Misra on his retirement on October 2.
Delivering the third Ramnath Goenka Memorial Lecture on “Vision of Justice”, the judge told a packed Teen Murti Bhavan auditorium in New Delhi that the judiciary was the “last bastion of hope” and has been “a proud guardian of the great constitutional vision”. The institution has been endowed with great societal trust.
Justice Gogoi, who along with Justices J Chelameswar (since retired), M B Lokur and Kurian Joseph had held a controversial January 12 presser in which a litany of allegations were made against the Chief Justice of India, also said that “independent journalists and sometimes noisy judges” were the first line of defence for democracy.
Referring to an article titled ‘How Democracy Dies’ published in the Indian Express, he said that “…independent judges and noisy journalists are democracy’s first line of defence … Reports of the death of democracy are greatly exaggerated. But the least bad system of government ever devised, is in trouble. It needs defenders.”
“I agree, but will only suggest a slight modification in today’s context – not only independent judges and noisy journalists, but even independent journalists and sometimes noisy judges,” Justice Gogoi said.
He said that in the first 50 years of independence, the court has created a very sound jurisprudence which “we are reaping now”.
“It is the inertia really that has kept us going till now. But the way things stand today, court processes are a trial even before the trial has begun. While I cannot say if it is a collective failure on our part, but for a nation governed by the rule of law, is it not a matter of concern that to this extent at least, we are defying the idea of inclusiveness?
“Not a reform, but a revolution is what it needs to be able to meet the challenges on the ground and to keep this institution serviceable for a common man and relevant for the nation,” Justice Gogoi said.
He expressed concern over “inefficiency” and “slow processes” in the administration of justice which, he said, have been historical challenges.
“The judiciary today is not a poor workman who blames his tools, but it is a workman with no tools. I am not going to saddle you with the figures that we keep consuming every day on pendency, arrears and judges’ strength but in the light of what a French author had once said ‘Everything has been said already, but as no one listens, we must begin again’.”
The judge said for the effectiveness of the judgments to show, the justice dispensation system has to be made more result-oriented and more focussed on enforcement.
He made a reference of noted journalist and politician Arun Shourie who had suggested that he wondered if the judiciary was not being an “accessory to the resulting deterioration”.
“I find it difficult to agree wholeheartedly. But I will certainly say that the judiciary must certainly be more pro-active, more on the front foot. This is what I would call as redefining its role as an institution in the matters of enforcement and efficacy of the spirit of its diktats, of course subject to constitutional morality (separation of powers) again.
“I will even go ahead to say that the institution, at all levels, needs to become more dynamic in the matters of interpretation of laws. And, this is what I mean to say by a constitutional moment of its own kind. However, it is going to be a tall order, both at the micro level and the macro level, because both come with their unique sets of challenges,” Justice Gogoi said.
Justice Gogoi said there was a pressing need to explore the endless limits of legal services mechanism, legal awareness and legal empowerment of the marginalised in this vastly unequal society.
He said Ramnath Goenka had once stated that while civil liberties will have nothing to fear from the judiciary alone, they will have everything to fear from the union of the judiciary with either the executive or the legislature.
“I would like to believe, this is why, Ramnathji had also said that ‘fierce independence’ is indeed the bedrock of justice. But I would like to add that ‘independence’ must always be responsible with due regard to the established constitutional values.
“This institution is the last bastion of hope and the one that the citizenry believes firmly, will give justice to them, come what may. And it has. The judiciary, with whatever little it has had at its hand, has been a proud guardian of the great constitutional vision. It fills me with immense pride to see that as an institution, the judiciary has been endowed with great societal trust,” he said.
BSF officer killed, 4 soldiers injured in cross-LoC firing
Jammu, Jan 15: An Assistant Commandant of Border Security Force (BSF) was killed in a ‘sniper fire’ by Pakistan along the Line of Control (LoC) in Samba district of Jammu on Tuesday.
Elsewhere, three BSF personnel and an army soldier were injured in separate incidents of firing along Rajouri and Kathua districts of Jammu.
Quoting a police official, news agency GNS said that Pakistan army opened sniper fire upon the BSF posts along the fence at around 10:50 am on Tuesday resulting in serious injuries to the officer identified as Assistant Commandant, Vinay Prasad.
He was immediately taken to a nearby health facility of army, from where he was airlifted to military hospital Satwari, Jammu, the official said.
“The officer succumbed to the grave injuries in the evening,” the officer added.
Meanwhile, three BSF troopers and an army soldier were injured, two of them critically, after the armies of India and Pakistan traded fire along the Line of Control (LoC) and international border in Rajouri and Kathua districts.
Official sources said that two BSF men and an army soldier posted along the LoC near Sunderbani sector of Rajouri were injured in the firing.
“One among the injured BSF men was identified as AnirbanChatterji, who suffered critical injuries and has been shifted to military hospital Satwari Jammu,” officials said.
The army soldier identified as Akash of 6 Jat Rifles and other BSF personnel, whose identity could not be immediately established, have also been admitted to hospital.
In another similar incident, a BSF trooper was injured when Pakistan troops fired on Indian pickets along the International Border (IB) in Hiranagar sector of Kathua district on Tuesday. The injured trooper has been taken to hospital for treatment.
There was a fresh exchange of fire between India and Pakistani army in MendharMankote and Balakote areas of Poonch and Kalal of Nowshera Rajouri.
In these areas, shells landed in some residential areas, following which the local moved to safer places.
An official of the BSF confirmed all these incidents and said that “our troops guarding the fence returned fire effectively and strongly”.
The officer said that in wake of growing incidents of ceasefire violation and sniper attacks, the Indian troops guarding the fence in all these areas has been put on high alert.
Govt issues appointment orders to 921 medical officers
Jammu, Jan 15: To augment health care facilities in the rural and far flung areas of the state, Health and Medical Education (H&ME) Department Tuesday issued appointment orders to 921 Medical Officers recruited on fast track basis.
To fast track the recruitment process, the H&MEDepartment had made relevant provisions in the rules and SRO, which paved the way for making the recruitment process a time bound exercise.
Pertinently, the department had referred one thousand vacancies of Medical Officers (MOs) of the Jammu and Kashmir Health and Family Welfare (Gazetted) Service to the J&K Public Service Commission (JKPSC) for making selections. After conducting the written examination, the J&K Public Service Commission finally recommended 921 candidates for selection as Medical Officers.
The H&ME department completed the process of recruitment in a record time of 3 months and issued appointment orders to the selected candidates.
Out of total 921 Medical Officers appointed by the department, 35 have been posted in district Anantnag, 18 in Bandipora, 58 in Baramulla, 28 in Budgam,119 in Doda, 33 in Ganderbal, 32 in Jammu, 52 in Kargil, 84 in Kathua, 46 in Kishtwar, 62 in Kupwara, 30 in Kulgam, 33 in Leh, 27 in Pulwama, 81 in Poonch, 56 in Ramban, 57 in Rajouri, 16 in Reasi, 08 in Samba,15 in Shopian and 41 in Udhampur.
Of these, 185 Medical Officers with specializations have also been posted in different districts of the state.
As per the Government order issued in this behalf, the appointees shall submit their joining reports to their concerned Drawing and Disbursing Officers (DDOs) within a period of 21 days and in case of failure to join within the stipulated period, the appointment shall be deemed to have been cancelled ab-initio without any further notice.
Meanwhile, Governor Satya Pal Malik, Advisor to Governor K Vijay Kumar and Chief Secretary B.V.R Subrahmanyam have conveyed their best wishes to the newly appointed Medical Officers with the hope that they will work with zest and zeal to provide best healthcare services to the people, particularly living in rural and far flung areas of the state.
The selected candidates can visit www.jkhealth.org for the selection list and to check the details of their place of postings.
JNU case: Joint Hurriyat seeks withdrawal of charges against Kashmiri students
Srinagar, Jan 15:Joint Hurriyat Leadership comprising Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, and Yasin Malik has strongly denounced the sedition charges and filing of charge sheet by the Delhi Police against Kashmiri students pursuing studies at Jawahar Lal Nehru University (JNU).
The leadership said the charges will have serious consequences on the academic and future career of the students.
The Kashmiri students include Aqeeb Hussain, Mujeeb Hussain, MuneebHussain,UmairGul, Rayees Rasool, Khalid Bashir, Basharat Ali.
The leadership said the students only participated in the programme organized by JNU students Union in 2016 to condemn the hanging of Muhammad Afzal Guru, who was hanged in Tihar Jail under shadowy circumstances without even informing his family members and in contravention to all established norms and rules.
The leaders said to book the students in 2019 clearly exhibit the vote bank politics of the ruling dispensation.
They said to harass the Kashmiri students pursuing studies outside Jammu and Kashmir is not a new practice, earlier in many universities and colleges Kashmiri students have been harassed even beaten up, forcing them to drop the studies incomplete and return home
“The Joint Hurriyat appealed International Human Rights Organizations ICRC, Asia Watch, Amnesty International and other humanity loving nations to take serious notice of these nefarious practices carried out to ruin the carriers of the Kashmiri students,” a spokesperson of the amalgam said.
JNU Case: Delhi court to consider chargesheet on Jan 19
New Delhi, Jan 15: A Delhi court Tuesday fixed January 19 for consideration of charge sheet against former Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union (JNUSU) president Kanhaiya Kumar and others, including seven Kashmiri students, in the 2016 JNU sedition case.
The court put up the matter for hearing on the date as Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Deepak Sherawat was on leave Tuesday.
The Delhi Police had on Monday filed a chargesheet at a city court against Kanhaiya Kumar and others, saying he was leading a procession and supported “seditious slogans” raised on the varsity campus in February 2016.
Police also charged former JNU students Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya for allegedly shouting anti-India slogans during an event on the university’s campus on February 9, 2016, to commemorate the hanging of Afzal Guru.