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Only judiciary for relief!

Now-a-days headlines are being seen in the newspapers that relief from Supreme Court for such and such, relief from Supreme Court for Dhimkane or no relief from Supreme Court for such and such! Some get relief from the High Court and some get relief from the lower court. The question is, how has the task of giving relief been handed over to the judiciary only? Is the Judiciary the only institution giving relief according to the Indian Constitution or can any other institution also give relief to the citizens of this great country? After all, what happened that not only the common citizens of this country, but everyone from industrialists to politicians became dependent on the judiciary for relief?

The Supreme Court also gave relief to the fact-checker Mohammad Zubair, while the Supreme Court also gave relief to the former BJP spokesperson who commented on Prophet Mohammad. Before that Teesta Setalvad or Zakia Jafri did not get relief from the Supreme Court. On the contrary, on the basis of the remarks of the Supreme Court, a case was registered against Teesta Setalvad and the police of Gujarat also arrested him. Recently, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court NV Ramanna had strongly objected to the “hasty and indiscriminate arrests and delay in getting bail”. He had said, ‘The way the situation has become today, the process itself has become a punishment’. From what the Chief Justice of India said, it can be concluded that the police, knowingly or unknowingly, are making indiscriminate arrests of people, while such arrests are not needed. If the police do their job properly then there will not be so many arrests. The Mohammad Zubair case and the Supreme Court’s observations on it provide a glimpse into the functioning of the police in India.

The second conclusion is that if the lower courts follow the sacred judicial principle of ‘bail not jail’, then such a large number of people will not have to remain in jail. Currently, the number of undertrials in the country is more than any other country in the world. According to the data collected by the National Crime Records Bureau, NCRB till 2020, undertrials account for 76 percent of the prisoners in jails in India. According to this figure, in 2020, about four lakh 90 thousand prisoners were lodged in the jails of India, out of which about three lakh 72 thousand were undertrial prisoners. That is, such prisoners whose trial is pending in the courts. Think, out of four lakh 90 thousand, there are only one lakh 18 thousand such prisoners who are serving their sentence, the rest are waiting for the trial to be completed. Most of them are such, who should not have been arrested or should have got bail earlier if arrested.

This is actually a small part of a bigger problem of the country. Apart from the criminal justice system, the judiciary has now become the only institution providing relief in political, social or historical cases. If you want to rectify the mistakes of Muslim invaders during the time of Mughals or even before then you have to go to court. If you want to stop the MLAs and MPs from defection, you have to go to court. If you want to prove majority then you have to go to court. If the government has made any law or is not making any law, then you have to go to court. If the government is running bulldozers at people’s homes, then you have to go to court. Even if the government is not providing basic facilities or the government agencies are violating human rights, one has to go to court for relief.

Think, what if this sole relief organization does not provide relief? What if this institution starts taking decisions under some pressure or bias? Where then will people go for relief? Wouldn’t it be nice that all democratic institutions would work to provide relief to the common people and people would not have to approach the Supreme Court for relief? Keep in mind that the Supreme Court is the Constitutional Court and its main function is the protection of the Constitution. If he has the right to judicial review, then he should concentrate on that work. The democratic system in India is derived from Britain and the judicial system from America. The Supreme Court of India has been made on the lines of the US Supreme Court. But it is rarely heard in America that the hearing on bail is going on in the Supreme Court. There only big constitutional issues go to the Supreme Court, where there are nine judges and each case is heard by all the judges together. About a hundred cases are heard in the US Supreme Court throughout the year and no case remains pending. In contrast, there are more than 50 thousand cases pending in the Supreme Court of India and more than three crore cases are pending in all the courts combined.

Keep in mind that in any democracy, the responsibility of every constitutional institution is to provide relief to the people. Their job is not to trouble people, but to save them from trouble. But in India it seems that the job of the legislature and the executive is to trouble the people, while the job of the judiciary is to give relief to the people. By law, the citizens of the country should get relief from the legislature and the executive. Citizens should have maximum engagement with these two institutions. Both should have a dialogue with the citizens so that the decisions or their functioning of these two institutions should not create trouble for the common people. For the smooth functioning of democracy, it is necessary that all the institutions should work according to the mandate given by the constitution. All the institutions will work honestly only then the citizens will not have to depend on one institution for relief. Dependence on one institution is creating many more vulnerabilities, which is also not good for the credibility of that institution.

Shubham Bangwal

Shubham Bangwal is a Senior Journalist at You can follow him on Twitter @sb_0fficial
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