A press conference called by four of the senior most judges of the Supreme Court on 12th January has further aggravated the crisis of credibility of the judiciary.
What was suspected before, has now been expressed by senior judges themselves. The highest courts are mired in corruption. Selection of judges is thoroughly arbitrary. Various sensitive cases are assigned to trusted judges in order to protect influential persons from being convicted of crime. Judges of the higher courts are bribed as well as threatened with murder if they act against the interests of the rich and powerful.
In the midst of such a credibility crisis, there are calls being given to “restore the credibility” of the judiciary. This is a call to prevent the truth from getting exposed. The truth is that the “rule of law” which this judiciary defends is the arbitrary and exploitative rule of the capitalist class headed by the monopoly houses.
Workers fighting for their rights know that the courts always rule in favour of the capitalist owners. Workers’ struggles are criminalized. Strikes are declared to be illegal under various laws such as the Essential Services Maintenance Act. Workers are put behind bars at the behest of the company owners. They are held in prison for many years on false charges. Leaders of workers' unions have been given life sentences and even double life sentences for the crime of defending their rights.
The judiciary has upheld fascist laws such as TADA, POTA and UAPA. Thousands of innocent people have been incarcerated in the jails for decades without even charges being framed against them. Some get released after their lives and their families have been ruined. People are killed in fake encounters and the ministers responsible get away unpunished. Whole regions of the country are declared 'disturbed' and subjected to army rule. Thousands of men and women have been tortured and murdered in the Northeast and in Kashmir, with legal backing provided by the fascist Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act.
The list of crimes against the people for which no justice has been delivered is shockingly large. Ordinary people have no hope of getting justice in this system.
It is well known that those who have money and who are well connected can literally get away with murder in our country. Those responsible for massacres of thousands of innocent people like in Delhi in 1984, in Mumbai in 1993, in Ahmedabad in 2002 and numerous other places have still not been brought to book.
To divert attention from the fact that the “rule of law” is anti-people, a debate is being generated over the “independence” of the judiciary. The reality is that the executive, the legislature as well as the judiciary are all organs of the dictatorship of the same class, the bourgeoisie headed by capitalist monopoly houses.
According to the doctrine of “separation of powers”, the judiciary is supposed to be independent of the executive and the legislature. This doctrine was propagated by the bourgeoisie in its struggle against the feudal aristocracy in England. However, once the English bourgeoisie firmly established its rule, it ensured that the executive, the iegislature and the judiciary all worked to defend its class dictatorship.
Political power was one and indivisible at that time. Today, too, power is one and indivisible. It is vested firmly in the hands of parties that are financed and trusted by the capitalist monopoly houses. No institution is independent of the interests and aims of the capitalist monopoly houses.
Justice for all members of society will remain an illusion as long as the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie remains intact.