Dr Ved Pratap Vaidik
It is a welcome sign the newly appointed Chief Justice of India UU Lalit has started delivering from the very moment he assumed charge. He could be there as the Chief justice of the Supreme Court for over two months, (73 days). From his gestures it looks evident that as Chief justice of the country in the limited time available in position Justice Lalit wants to bring in innovative changes in the judicial courts across the country. His positive effort to cleanse and uplift the judicial system needs to be lauded.
As of now over 40 million cases are pending in the judicial courts across the country. There are many numbers of cases pending for over 30 to 40 years. Poor litigants are entangled in court cases waiting for verdicts and in the process many get duped by touts and cheats.
One may not agree with the speedy judgments given by the court of Justice Lalit in 11 petitions related to Gujarat riots, case related to Babri Masjid and Idgah Maidan in Bengaluru. However, keeping those cases pending for decades cannot be in the interest of justice.
John Stuart Mill, an English philosopher, political economist and Member of Parliament has in his famous book ‘Liberty’ said, “Justice given late is injustice.” We expect our new CJI Justice U U Lalit to do something in his short tenure to cleanse and improve our judicial system which no one could do in the last 75 years. If he, as CJI, could do anything positive to better the current judicial system, law abiding citizens of this country will remember him forever with reverence.
I have a suggestion; law should be taught in mother tongue across the country and all arguments and proceedings in the court should be in their own languages so that the plaintiffs and the defendants would know what is transpiring in the Courtroom. This will save litigants from fraudsters because the clients will know what their lawyers have argued and what the judges have said in their decisions.
Three important cases are yet to come in Lalit’s court. His decisions in all three cases could be epoch-making. The first case is against providing reservation to the poor and Muslims. I believe that reservation in government jobs on the basis of poverty, caste and religion is absolutely unwarranted and unethical. Such reservations are a curse to the nation and these reservations are endangering the unity of the country. Reservation should be provided only in education, that too only on the basis of economic status. Jobs should be purely on merit basis.
Regarding Muslim polygamy and Nikah Halala are concerned, like triple Talaq; there should be a legal ban on such issues. The Muslims of India have to be forward looking and not be retrograde.
The third issue is regarding the identification of minorities in different states. If all Indian citizens are equal according to the Indian Constitution, why this majority tag to a particular section in the society?
The minority tag is always a boon to the wholesale dealers of vote banks and they will never relish any decision against minority status. But this minority tag is neither good for the unity of India nor in the interest of a free and progressive democracy. If in the next two-and-a-half months, the Supreme Court exhibits audacity to pronounce affirmative judgments on these issues, then the people of the country will congratulate the Apex Court and the Chief Justice of India for taking a firm step forward to safeguard our democracy.
*Dr. Vaidik is a widely travelled scholar-journalist. He has visited more than 80 countries on diplomatic and educational missions. Dr. Vaidik has won more than a dozen National and International awards for academic and journalistic excellence. He has been a member of several Advisory Committees of Government of India.