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Solved Exercise for Precis writing “Aspects of Judicial Activism” 1400 Words Precis for Class 11, 12 and Government Exams.

Precis Exercise

It has been a bad year for politics. It has been a good year for law. What has been revealed exposes much that is rotten in our society. The trustees of the people have forfeited their trust. The ‘Bofors’ deal – ignominiously absolved by a Joint Committee of Parliament — was the tip of the iceberg. There is virtually no activity of government not tainted by corruption in some measure. Muscle and money-power corrupt elections. In Parliament, legislators have been bought and sold for hard cash and not just with the temptation of office. The ‘Jharkand MPs case confirms our worst doubts. The ‘Vohra Report’ talks frighteningly of extra-constitutional authorities ruling India. The “hawala’ case shows that an organized network attempted to buy off politicians of all types. The ‘fodder scam reveals that no government program is safe. The ‘gawala’ scam leaves trails to the Chief Minister and there is some reason to believe that the investigation by the CBI was being interfered with. Sinecure posts were being sold in the TB program in Bihar to an extent that defies imagination.

Our treasury is empty. We live on the false spark of consumerism. There is nothing sacred about what we do. The environment has been devastated. Delhi is polluted to a point that the lungs of its affected citizens are a silver-grey than a healthy pink. Mining takes place in forest areas. The forests are depleting at an alarming level of hundreds of acres a day. India’s renowned bio-diversity pots are being irretrievably lost. The cities are dirty. The crime rate is increasing. In particular, women are being pushed into dowry deaths and ‘sati’. Police who are posed to be the custodians of law have killed in fake counters, caused people to disappear and tortured – not necessarily for the cause ( whatever that might be), but often out of a pathological sense of cruelty. We cannot turn to our Ministers – for, they too have been found the turn to wanting, ‘Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?’ who will protect us from the custodians?

It is in this state of affairs that the judiciary was ‘invited’ to move into save democratic governance from its own excesses. The judiciary rarely moved on its own, but was asked to do so by activists and journalists. The government is not doing its job. Public power has been converted into a private fiefdom. If Mr. Justice Kuldip Singh’s name stands out, it is because he would not take ‘no’ for an answer. He shifted industries out of Delhi, manufacture from the Taj trapezium, shopkeepers from Fathepur Sikri, countered the depletion of India’s otherwise fantastic coastline, got Delhi’s garbage system to work, protected Delhi’s ridge, and dealt with tanneries in Tamil Nadu and development in Suraj Kund. Errant ministers were fined enormous sums. Civil servants who had got out-of-turn allotments of flats were turfed out. His list for 1996 was as endless as his energy, sense of humor, and often, impatience.

To this can be added his judgments on handcuffing, his retreat on the uniform civil code, and innumerable exercises of equity for which many deserving litigants are immeasurably grateful. The important message was: schematic relief was here to stay. The court would not just give orders; it would structure them and make sure that they were obeyed. But Mr. Justice Kuldip Singh’s cyclonic ‘tour de force should not make us overlook the work of the other judges in the ‘hawala’ case, the orders in the ‘gawala’ case, the disciplining of the Election Commission in various matters, the handling of the property scam in the case of Skipper Construction and others. The latest in the long line of schematic relief is the Messrs Justices Verma-Kripal interim devastation of forests all over India. Meanwhile, the stream of jurisprudence has continued. The and liberty and due process have expanded our relationship to the police, with Mr. Justice Anand establishing a new arrest and interrogation code in a far-res judgment. Judges have not rushed in everywhere angels feared to tread. In matters of communalism + judges have been fore bearing, often resulting in judger which has equated electoral Hindutva with a reified Indianness — refusing opportunities to review its stance on religious freedom and generally being less than sensitive on matters of religious freedom.

Did the judges go over the top? Perhaps, yes. But only perhaps, the schematic relief in many cases was too wide. Individuals felt that they did not get the due process. The environment was protected, but at whose cost? In an effort to get at the irresponsible rich, the poor have suffered. It has become a case of environment versus poor. The orders to give wages to dislocated workers seemed to come as an afterthought and are not a substitute for real work and disrupted lives. People living off the timber industry in the North-East will suffer much more than those in Calcutta and other merchants to whom they supply. Ordering the administration in material particulars may well seem like taking over the administration. The short, sharp decisions on damages for ministers had a chilling effect and could have been better constructed. But they were not totally outside the judicial discipline of principled decision-making.

Threatened politicians and exposed public persons have mounted a counterattack; no less in Parliament. Protest is in the air. Some of it is justified. The judges had been hasty. But the circumstances may have demanded it. In 1996, the court went further than it had gone before. It was not just content with checking atrocities or sending civil servants and Chief Ministers to jail. The near-complete assault on constitutional governance led to a near-complete counter-offensive by the judges.

The explanation that the rise of judicial review response to the failure of other democratic institutions enters the caveat of apology when it is not necessary. The judicial power is not inherently undemocratic, as long as the judiciary is renewed by a careful process of responsible democratic selection and we can oversee the integrity of our judges so that those who dispense justice are themselves just. The judicial enterprise enhances and redeems democracy rather than undermines it. In its present incarnation, raising public interest issues in courts is not the privilege of the rich but the prerogative of the disadvantaged.

The discipline of the law permits the luxury of a second look to ensure that a majority democracy is true to justice. As we get drawn into the globalization of trade and opportunity, it is important to recall Ambedkar’s warning to his colleagues in the Constituent Assembly that political democracy without social and economic equality would enter India into a dangerous life of contradiction. Nor we are wrong in asking judges to resolve contradictions which are inherent in democratic governance itself. The year of the law does not just represent a transition. It is the shape of things to come. That is why it is so exciting: and invites apprehension.

Jawaharlal Nehru’s view that a good judge was one who had proved his ability in the High Court had not anticipated that judges would be called upon to save Indian democracy to this extent. If judges are to have this kind of power, they have to be carefully selected. It is a question of renewal. Parliament renews itself by-elections: the IAS by examinations. In 1981, the Supreme Court blessed a system of higher judicial appointments by political patronage as moderated by senior judges. After 1993, a narrower Chief Justice system was inaugurated. The bonafides of particular officeholders are not in question. We need a thorough, revamped system of individual appointments by a broad-based commission. We also need a more inspiring system of disciplining errant judges after the Ramaswami impeachment fell flat on its face. The judicial power is not to be trifled with. It must be entrusted to those appointed by a process, and in whom the nation has total faith. If anything, 1996 — the year of the law — has taught us that. (1340 words)


Solved Precis

Title:-Aspects of Judicial Activism

There is a general decline in the moral and ethical standards of society. If on the one hand, corruption in varying volumes actively decays social life. The degradation of the environment and the increase in crime rates on the other affect the physical well-being of the people. The Judiciary finds itself in a situation in which it has the responsibility to revive democratic governance back to health. Perhaps until recently, the Judiciary was unwilling to take the initiative itself, but lately, many judges are active, not merely in passing strict and just judgments, but in seeing that the judgments are actually implemented. While being active, as it is now, the Judiciary may have exceeded the limits of its powers, but only rarely. The imbalances and inconsistencies in certain judgments may have affected certain sections of the people adversely. Though some of the drawbacks in the judgments may have been avoidable, none of the judgments can be considered as being outside the conventional judicial discipline. Those threatened by the active trend of the Judiciary particularly the politicians have been alleging that the Judiciary is undermining democracy. But judicial power is not in itself, undemocratic. There are mechanisms built within the judicial system, which, by reviewing judgments, ensure that the chances of prejudice or inconsistency in the judgments are minimized, if not eliminated altogether. Moreover, the existing procedures for examining the conduct and integrity of serving judges sufficiently ensure that the judges do not compromise on conventions and principles. But, since judges in recent times are being called upon to do more than what they did earlier, it is necessary that due care be given to the manner in which they are selected. Besides introducing better methods of selection, there should be an effective way of trying errant judges and punishing them in deserving cases. (304 words)




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