Veil of Secrecy and Indian Judiciary :
Whenever an ocassion for transperancy in Judicial system comes before her, be it RTI Act or criticism on internal judicial organs such as Police Prosecutors or Public Prosecutors or Amicus curie, she claims the previleges of a purdah nashin lady. ( Muslim Lady protection and privileges to appear in public in Indian laws )
This time the case on hand is the remarks of the Judge in Gujarat Riot Cases as appeared in the English News papers:
Warning special public prosecutors conduct trial in nine major Gujarat riot cases against “selective leak” of sensitive information about pending cases to media, the Supreme Court on Wednesday extended the deadline for submission of SIT report against chief minister Narendra Modi and others by two weeks.
The SIT report supposed to be submitted by April 30 was given time till May 15 to file it by a special bench of Justices D.K. Jain, P. Sathasivam and Aftab Alam amidst heated arguments between counsel for NGO Citizen for Justice and Peace (CJP) and noted criminal lawyer Ram Jethmalani, appearing for a BJP MLA.
“We do not approve the practice of public prosecutors commenting on the role of presiding officer (trial judges). I am surprised and I am sorry to say if he (prosecutor) does not want to continue… he can leave,” Justice Jain, heading the bench observed. The bench was annoyed with the special public prosecutors (SPP) talking to media on sensitive cases, after the matter in this regard related to prosecutor conducting trial in Naroda Gaam case, was brought to the notice of the apex court.
Former Gujarat minister Maya Kodnani and state’s VHP general secretary Jaideep Patel are among the accused facing trial for alleged murder of 11 per sons in this case.
SPP Nigam Shukla purportedly had written to SIT chief R.K. Raghvan alleging that the trial judge was “biased” and members of the SIT were not cooperating with him fully.
This was brought to the notice of the bench in last hearing by Solicitor General Gopal Subramaniam, over which the top court had expressed surprise as how he was privy to the information while nothing of the sort had come to it form the SIT, which placed a short report on the issue before it on Wednesday. The bench directed SIT chairman Mr Raghvan, who was present in the court, to hold a meeting with officers working under his command, with amicus curiae Harish Salve assisting the top court, by May 1 to resolve the prosecution-related problems to ensure smooth trial in the nine major cases being prosecuted by his team. The apex court said that it was more concerned about proper investigation and smooth trial in all the cases.
Courtsey : http://epaper.asianage.com/Asian/AAge/2010/04/29/index.shtml
Another News paper Reports :
The bench also expressed anguish over the role of a special public prosecutor who had writtea letter to the SIT making allegations against the trial judge. That letter was leaked to the media. Earlier, during the hearing on April 6, the issue of the letter written by the prosecutor to the SIT was brought up before the bench by solicitor general Gopal Subramanium. The court was informed that a special public prosecutor engaged for the riot cases had sought his withdrawal from
the case after levelling certain allegations against the SIT and the trial judge. During the hearing on Wednesday, the bench
once again disapproved of the conduct of prosecutors addressing the press. “If every prosecutor starts behaving like this,what will happen?” the bench said. Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi,who was appearing for the Gujarat government, said that a letter (by the state government) had been written to Subramanium asking him how he came to know about the prosecutor’s letter to the SIT.The bench posted the matter to May 6 for the next hearing and granted time to SIT to file its report by May 15. —AGENCIES
Courtsey : http://epaper.dnaindia com/dnaahmedabad/epaperpdf/29042010/28ahm%20main%20edition-pg1-0.pdf
The world is watching the day to day trial with keen interest as the dispensation of justice is a matter of public interest and so the judiciary, except few trials in camara, is always an open court.
It is an humble endeavour on the part of this writer to bring to the kind notice of the highest judiciary that from the lowest court to the highest judiciary it should be bear in mind that the Police prosecutor or the Public Prosecutor or an Amicus Curie is specifically meant for the Complainant : the Victim and the Oppressed who has come before the Court for justice. And justice must not only be done but must appears to be done... If the voice of the spokeman of the Complaint or Victim or Oppressed is suffocated it will defeat the ends of justice. In my day to day experience in the court as the practicing Advocate, it is seen that these internal organs of the Judiciary are defending the Accused as if they are meant to protect the Accused and not the Complainant. The observations and remarks in the above mentioned case will add fuel to the fire which is engulfing the entire judicial system. Let us discard the veil of secrecy and be fair and transperant to the common man-the Justice Seeker. We praise the judicial valour of those Officers of the Court who dare to expose the truth and it is be fitting to the dignity and honour of the profession of Advocates and they must be rewarded and not discouraged...