India can't have parallel legal systems for rich and poor: SC
New Delhi: India cannot have two parallel legal systems, one for the rich and resourceful and those who wield political power and the other for small men without resources and capabilities to access justice, the Supreme Court said on Thursday.
The apex court also said the "colonial mindset meted out to the district judiciary" must change to preserve the faith of citizens and stated that judges are "made targets when they stand up for what is right".
The top court made these crucial observations while cancelling the bail granted to Madhya Pradesh BSP MLA's husband, who was arrested in over two-year-old murder case of Congress leader Devendra Chourasia.
An independent and impartial judiciary is the cornerstone of democracy and it should be immune from political pressures and considerations, the top court said. India cannot have two parallel legal systems, one for the
rich and resourceful and those who wield political power and the other for small men without resources without capabilities to gain justice.
The existence of dual system will only chip away the legitimacy of the law. The duty also falls on the state machinery to be committed to the rule of law, the top court said.
A bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud and M R Shah said district judiciary is the first point of interface with the citizens. If the faith of citizens in the judiciary is to be preserved, it is the district judiciary on which attention must be focused, the bench said.
The top court said trial court judges work amidst appalling conditions, lack of infrastructure, inadequate protection and there are examples of judges being made targets when they stand up for what is right. Also there is sadly a subservience to the administration of the high courts for transfers and postings which renders them vulnerable, the bench said.