While inaugurating the Judges’ Retreat on Saturday, the President gave a timely call to the judiciary to be cautious about expanding their functions, and while he did not say it, the message was clear that undue expansion of powers can only lead to erosion of judicial standards.
The President also reminded the Judges that ‘justice delayed is justice denied’ and hinted that together with the rising costs of justice, it dissuades people from seeking justice from the courts and encourages street-side justice. However, two other points need urgent attention of the judges.
The first is that perjury is rife in our Courts, as any practicing lawyer would vouchsafe. It is a serious threat to dispensation of justice but there are few prosecutions for perjury: one would refer to the remarks of former CJI, Justice Ahmadi who said that he had not come across any case against perjury in his career.
The second point which needs urgent attention is that sentences imposed by Courts do not seem to deter criminals: criminals do not hesitate to get back to life of crime as soon as they have served out their sentence. As a result the entire machinery, including police, courts and jails, fails to protect the law-abiding citizens, who live in constant fear of crime and dare not stand up against criminals (particularly, organised gangsters).
By PD Malaviya