JUDICIARY AND POLITICS

In a curious instance, the Karnataka high court has expressed dismay after it was found out that a retired judge had paid over Rs 8 crore to a middle-man to secure a governor’s post. This case in question is that of a retired lady judge who came up with a petition that she was “cheated” in this respect by an astrologer well-connected with top political brass. The high court has rightly pointed out that such an act by a retired judge lowered the prestige of judges and the judiciary and also affected the image of the governor’s post. More importantly, the relevant question is how a retired judge had such easy money to spare for realizing her dream of becoming a high-flying governor.

Clearly, the judiciary is taking quite a few hits of late, and all of a similar kind. The quality of those manning the judiciary was of a high order when India started off as a Republic with its own Constitution and legal system in 1950. But over the years the cracks have shown when retired judges have accepted posts retirement jobs including a Rajya Sabha seat.  This damages the credibility of the judiciary. Political interferences in the justice dispensation system that had started with Indira Gandhi began to vitiate the system. Over the years, the scenario progressively worsened. The ‘crores for bail’ scam involving a mining baron exposed the underbelly of India’s justice delivery system. There were huge embarrassments in relation to the Supreme Court too. All of these hurt the image of Indian judicial system in no small measure.

The attempt by a retired judge to bribe her way into a Raj Bhavan cannot be seen in isolation. The political process has become so corrupt in this country that all these are in the realm of possibility. Crores of rupees are paid by aspirants to top political leaders in order to get a candidature or nomination to Parliament for the same reason that these offices like the governor’s post, have an aura around them. But, such indulgences only hurt the fair image of democracy further.

The problem starts with those at the helm. A leader of high integrity at the top position is normally a guarantee that systems are not tampered with for individual gains. Today, every system in this country is in for a shock, having been undercut by wayward politicians at the helm of affairs and they using every means to attain their goals and satisfying their greed and whims. Political dynasties have cropped up across states, all of them being epitomes of corruption where the public exchequer is being raided in multiple ways.

This has got to stop and some whistle blowing is due by public spirited individuals!

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