Gone are the days when Indian judiciary could justifiably claim to be one of the most upright and clean in the world. The tragic erosion of moral values during the long Congress rule has gradually perverted Indians to a state of a virtual sick society. Executive has over the years grown autocratic, vain and totally corrupt and through dubious measures it has succeeded in reducing judiciary to a mere keep or a mistress. Today judges exult in and ardently solicit the patronage of the executive. They talk and act in a manner that betrays their anxiety to be more loyal than the King himself. The cynical behavior of Justice Yogeshwar Dayal in condemning journalists, professors and civil rights activists is not an exception but is symptomatic of the prevailing malady. The malady has percolated down to the very marrow of the judicial system. It started with wanton subversion of the constitution through motivated amendments. Indira Gandhi was unseated and disqualified from contesting elections for six years by a Alhahabad judge. She disregarded the judgment and defeated it through an amendment in the constitution.
The Machiavellian circumventing of law led to Jaya Parkash Narain’s call for total revolution. She imposed emergency to arrest the growing support to J.P.’s total revolution.
During emergency all democratic norms and conventions were thrown to the winds and judiciary was made to play second fiddle to the Executive. There was a talk of committed judiciary and judges were left high and dry at the mercy of the executive through measures like the transfer of judges from one state to another.
It is in this background that Jogeshwar Dayal made his cynical observations. His logic that murder, plunder and arson willfully perpetrated on thousands of innocent Sikhs do not merit any attention as there were already 67,000 pending cases only goes to highlight the deep-seated communal bias of his mind. Curiously judges belonging to the majority community have uniformly shown such bias against the Sikhs. Can he safely apply the same logic to the assassination of Indira Gandhi? Of course not. For he likes to stay in Delhi and aspires for elevation to the Supreme Court. In such a vicious climate, how can Sikhs expect a fair deal or even a semblance of justice? The great Urdu poet Mirza Gahib’s well-known couplet sums up their predicament:
WOHEE QAATIL, WOHEE MUNSIF, WOHEE MUKHBAR
MERE AKARBA QATIL KA DAWA KAREN TO, KIS PAR
(The Killer, the judge, the informer is one and same,
Against whom should my relatives lodge the report of murder).
Article extracted from this publication >> March 1, 1985