Stooping to conquer or flattering to deceive? ReadingS


The Article 370 case similarly remains in limbo, orders remain reserved and democracy continues to elude Jammu and Kashmir. The Bilkis Bano case disappeared from the radar, if not from the court records. What happened to the Pegasus Committee report or SEBI’s investigation into the allegations against Adani conglomerate?

With each passing day delay in deciding such important cases or handing over reserved orders, the status quo (which can only be in favor of the government of the day) becomes a fait accompli and becomes more difficult to reverse. He encourages the government to continue its bulldozer tactics and take the court for granted.

For this reason, the attorney general can make statements as he did and continue to joke in court. Earlier this month, when the CJI Maharashtra spokesperson fixed December 31 as the deadline to decide the MLA disqualification case, he warned the court not to overstep its bounds (was it a veiled warning?)!

The court may want to avoid a conflict with the executive branch, and so it may be “encouraging” when it needs to direct, “requesting” when it needs to instruct, or “persuading” when it needs to order. But such a timid approach does not work; It takes two to prevent a conflict, and this government is constantly in enemy mode. Moreover, this also diminishes the majesty of the law and reduces the credibility of legal institutions in the eyes of citizens.

What we need is for the court to apply the law without fear or favor, and to practice within the court what it preaches outside the court in seminars, congresses and opening speeches. We need less rhetoric, dictates and moral stances from the judiciary, more concern for our fundamental freedoms and rights, harsh messaging to the government and the imposition of consequences for defying orders.

“Strengthening to conquer” might be an interesting phrase for an Oliver Goldsmith play, but it is completely inappropriate for our current political climate; The phrase “pride to deceive” might describe this better, right?

Avay Shukla is a retired IAS officer and author. Deputy Commissioner’s Dog and Other Colleagues. He blogs at:

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