Justice delayed, not denied
There are a handful Indian politicians whose names have never appeared on any discussion of corruption or illegal undertaking. The prevalence of an underhand is so common in Indian politics today, that neither the doers nor the receivers and neither the spectators are any longer amused at its occurrence or even its volume. From Lalu Yadav, who still manages to hold a strong clout in Bihar, to Jayalalithaa, whose followers had shed endless tears at her demise last December; from the subaltern leader Mayawati to the glamorous Robert Vadra—the world of politics is synonymous with the world of illegality, corruption and a freehand of projected power. Over the years, the intensity of this has only grown with dynastic politics taking over the reins of the day. When the Supreme court called out to the government, asking it to set up special courts for the trial of tainted netas, a warm round of applause greeted Justices Ranjan Gogoi and Navin Sinha, as finally, the apex court had dealt with the question of the highhanded execution of power, frequently witnessed in our politicians who comfortably sit on their velvet seats, in air-conditioned rooms as the world outside seemingly sways to the tap of their currency. The Supreme court gave out a clear message: No more! "On the one hand, you say you want to decriminalise, you make a commitment. On the other hand, you say law and justice is a state subject and wash your hands off the matter," echoed the two-judge bench. "Set up special courts," Justice Gogoi told the Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Atmaran Nadkarni. The government has been pressing for a corruption-free political society where all public representatives of state will have a clean chit. The Modi government so far has performed much better than the previous Manmohan Singh government, on that note. Under the two previous UPA regimes, there were endless controversies with the 2G scam and the Commonwealth scam still fresh in public memory. Robert Vadra, though not a political representative, yet a very prominent member of the extended Gandhi family has been repeatedly embroiled in controversies over land acquisition. Lalu Yadav has been a recurrent name with him first being accused of transferring money illegally from the state animal husbandry department. Later, his wife and son were also caught up in a railways hotel allotment case during the tenure of UPA 1. More recently, in West Bengal, several ministers of the ruling party were caught taking bribes in a scam recorded on hidden cameras. All in all, the fate hasn't spelt well for the ministers of India who have been more often than not accused of petty crimes than applauded of appreciable contribution to our society. The Supreme Court order comes as cognizance of this endless corruption amid the higher, official circles that has been plaguing our economy. The BJP too is at a crucial juncture and must make most of this order from the apex bosses. The lotus party had promised the nation of a congress-mukt and a corruption-mukt Bharat; using the two terms almost synonymously, as if Congress meant corruption. Though the BJP's track record, in the column of corruption, has been far cleaner than the Congress', it too hasn't been impeccable. Especially recently, when, rumours were strife of an exceptional rise in the estimated worth of Amit Shah's son, Jai Shah's assets. Justice Gogoi who is next in line to assume the prestigious office of the Chief Justice of India, gave out clear instructions to the ASG, stating unambiguously that the country requires more courts and this gives the perfect reason to set up more bodies that would exercise judicial power. India has only 17,000 courts; the special courts would assist in speeding up the entire process of judicial enquiry which already sees several pending cases at the state and district levels. Justice Gogoi emphasised that the special courts would first deal with cases that were filed against political leaders and would thereafter assist the entire system in handling the remaining cases pending with the courts. In 2014, 1581 lawmakers were facing conviction in 13,500 cases. The numbers now can only be greater. The politicians had become complacent as delays in proceedings rarely produced any threat to their everyday lives. Now, however, with this court ruling, the politicians have a little more to fear. The Supreme Court has taken a bold step to pace up the conviction of unlawful ministers and politicians who have been hiding under the garb of judicial delays. With the speedy setup of the new, special courts, we can hope that justice delayed will not be justice denied.