Two Supreme Court Judges, both Bengalis hailing from West Bengal, have very surprisingly recused themselves from hearing cases against the Trinamool Congress and Mamata Banerjee – one on TMC’s post poll violence and the other on Mamata’s impeding of justice in Narada sting operation case.
Both the Supreme Court Judges, Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice Aniruddha Bose surprisingly did not offer any reason for their recusal, raising many questions about the exalted independence of judiciary which is one of the vital arms of the Basic Structure of the Constitution of India.
The said recusals bring to fore two possible reasons – either the judiciary is too severely mired in conflict of interests or the fear factor of ‘Khela Hobe’ in West Bengal as a repercussion for giving judgements or orders against the ruling TMC. Either of the two reasons raises questions on the independence of judiciary and judicial appointments.
It also exposes the grandstanding of judicial activism hailing propagandist-journalists and activists who spew venom against nationalist Hindus, manufacture baseless cases against Narendra Modi, promote secessionism, promote Maoist-Jihadi activism and terror activities under the garb of ‘talking truth to power’. Judicial activism vanishes in thin air when Hindus are target of jihadi terror be it Kashmir in 1989-90 or now in the ongoing state sponsored genocide in Bengal in the aftermath of the assembly election results since 2nd May.
TMC / Mamata’s Intimidation Of Justice Kausik Chanda of Calcutta High Court
Notably, just a few days back on 18th June Mamata Banerjee and the TMC demanded the recusal of Justice Kausik Chanda of the Calcutta High Court from Mamata Banerjee’s election petition challenging her assembly poll defeat at the hands of BJP leader and Leader of the Opposition, Suvendu Adhikari from Nandigram seat. Justice Kausik Chanda had asked for the petitioner, i.e. Mamata Banerjee’s presence for hearing the case and enquired form her counsel whether she would attend the hearings. This prompted the TMC to go all ballistic against Justice Chanda descending to the level of calling Justice Chanda a BJP member. They bandied around accusing him of being biased, since he argued few cases as a counsel for the BJP.
It is a fallacious argument on the part of TMC to say that if someone represents a party as a lawyer, such a person would be biased in favour of the party in cases against it as a Judge. If such a rule were to be applied, all Judges from the time of independence appointed to the Supreme Court or any of the High Courts would fail on this count, as their professional duties and services as a lawyer should not and cannot be held against them as an assumption of being biased when they become Judges.
Such a yardstick for evaluation of Judges impartiality would leave us with no Judges in the apex courts of India. As many of the SC and HC judges have invariably represented the Congress as counsels or Congress governments as government law officers or have been close relatives of Congress politicians in high positions.
SC Judges From Bengal Ought To Have Taken Suo Motu Cognizance of Post-Poll Bengal Violence
The Supreme Court Judges from Bengal should have especially suo motu taken up the brazen political and communal violence perpetrated in West Bengal by the ruling party workers aided and abetted by the administration, but curiously enough they are running away from taking up the cases of victims who have with great difficulty managed to knock the doors of the Supreme Court for justice.
Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee instead of controlling the violence and mayhem has in several instances incited her party workers against the CBI, CRPF and the BJP workers and has actively encouraged her party cadre to perpetrate mass scale violence in Bengal.
Being a woman Chief Minister, Mamata instead of stamping out rapes committed by her party cadre as tool of terrorizing political opponents has not only denied justice to the victims but also let her administration harass them to silence.
‘Show Me The Man And I Will Tell You The Rule”
Pertinently, a Supreme Court bench headed by Justice Indira Banerjee, in May 2019 very questionably laid a condition of giving a written apology as a pre-condition for granting bail to a young BJP worker, Priyanka Sharma whose only crime was to share a meme of Mamata Banerjee on her Facebook account. Priyanka Sharma had shared a meme which had replaced actress Priyanka Chopra’s face in a fancy get-up with Mamata Banerjee’s face.
For this meme, BJP worker Priyanka Sharma was slapped with a non-bailable case, arrested and lodged in jail for more than four days, before her case was taken to Supreme Court for gross violation of fundamental rights of freedom of expression and right to life. Justice Banerjee was not very pleased to see the meme and granted a conditional bail directing the petitioner to tender a written apology to Mamata Banerjee. Justice Banerjee reportedly stated in her order that freedom of expression is not absolute and cannot be used to ridicule a person in Constitutional position.
The same Justice Indrani Banerjee a few days later in June 2019, granted unconditional bail to a propagandist Hindu hating journalist Prashant Kanojia for being arrested due to an obnoxious post against Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath and inciting communal violence by alluding all Hindu Sadhus and devout Hindus as terrorists on twitter. In fact he continues to be a serial offender spreading hatred against Hindus in social media platforms.
Justice Banerjee, curiously in this case, said that the arrest of Kanojia was in complete violation of fundamental rights to freedom of expression and right to life under Article 19 and 21 of the Constitution and granted him unconditional bail after slamming the Uttar Pradesh government. This case exposed the practice, “show me the man and I will tell you the rule” quite evidently.
Recusals Driven By Severe Conflict Of Interests Or By Fear Factor?
The current recusal of the two judges of the Supreme Court has kicked up a storm in twitter, with citizens of India demanding accountability from judiciary. Netizens also wondered whether the judiciary is too much mired in conflict of interests to be able to dispense justice or alternatively too scared to take a stand against Mamata Banerjee and TMC given the rampant violence and silencing of opponents of Mamata Banerjee by her party in West Bengal.
Some of them even wondered whether the Justices were worried about the safety of their families in West Bengal prompting them to recuse from cases against TMC’s murderous violence, Mamata’s role in abdicating her responsibilities as CM and her brazen intimidation of CBI officers impeding due legal process in Narada Sting Operation case.
It is a shame that all constitutional bodies except the Governor of West Bengal, Jagdeep Dhankar, have maintained a complete silence of mayhem in Bengal which has left as many as 1 lakh Hindus homeless as their houses were destroyed because of their only crime to exercise their democratic right to vote for the BJP or be a member of the party. Thousands more have been given death threats, as many as three dozen women have been raped and hundreds of them have been threatened of rape for supporting the BJP. And many have been butchered by the TMC criminals and Islamist elements in Muslim majority districts for being Hindus and supporting the BJP.
Such total abdication of duty to ensure safety of citizens of India by constitutional bodies and people in power makes a person wonder whether we truly are a functional secular democratic republic as enshrined in the Constitution and whether the Supreme Court is a Paper Tiger when it comes to being true custodians of the Constitution!
N.B.: Image sourced from twitter
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