We are passing through a very challenging period. On 5th August the parliament abrogated Article 370 and reduced the J&K state in to two union territories without going through any form of consultations with the people of the state or their representatives. Military, para military and police forces are deployed everywhere, preventive orders are clamped down and all forms of communications are cut. Many concerned people approached the Supreme Court, which is the authority and has right to give relief to people if the constitutional rights are violated; first group of people challenging the government action on J&K, and second group appealing against the clamp down and cutting down of all communications including the democratic rights of people of the state to go to their families and contact with them. On the first question, the SC ordered that it shall take up the question in October for hearing! On the second question, it has strangely asked the petitioners let us have faith on the government and give the government some more time before taking up the question! Only two or three individuals were allowed to go, see the individual they want to meet and return without meeting anyone else! At the same time the media is prevented from reporting what is actually happening. Government is putting pressure on the media to shut up. Foreign media reports about horrific tortures, suppression and resistance, while government and its officers repeating everything is perfect, and people are increasingly supporting govt action, while detention of thousands including MPs, ex-chief ministers, MLAs is continuing, and access to communication channels are by and large cut off still!
In spite of all these, even after many petitions to J&K High Court and the SC, they refuse to act! What has happened to our apex court? Meanwhile, the Supreme Court collegium headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi had on August 28 ordered the transfer of the CJ from Madras, Vijaya Kamlesh Tahilramani to Meghalaya. The Collegium had rejected her appeal asking for reconsideration of the transfer from a 70 judges strong Madras High Court to Meghalaya High Court with 3 judges. It is quite clear that it is a calculated humiliation of her, because she on May 4, 2017, when she was the CJ of Mumbai High Court, upheld the life imprisonment of 11 convicts in the gang rape of Bilkis Bano and the murder of her family during the 2002 Gujarat riots. She also set aside the acquittal of seven persons in the case including five police officers and two doctors, convicting them under sections 201 (tampering of evidence) and 218 (not performing duties) of the Indian Penal Code. As her plea is rejected and no explanation for this action is given by the CJI, it is crystal clear that the CJI and the collegium of the SC had ordered her transfer under dictates of home minister Amit Shaw!
What is happening to our Supreme Court? People have a right to know! Is it an undeclared emergency where the Constitution as a whole is made inoperative?
Com Kn Ramachandran