DailyPost 2087

The robustness of a democracy comes out, of its checks and balances, strong enough to face any onslaught and keep going strong. You can call it resilience, which besides being having the ability to bounce back in no time, it continues to have the resonance with the people, even if there are some aberrations here and there. Politics and criminality have been having more than their due share of relationships, justice system and more so the criminal justice should declare foul, at the real time and dynamic level would have a salutary impact, the provisions are there to take care of it. There are legal tools which have been perfected over a period of time and which have to be used with courage, grit and tenacity, with never say never die faith in democracy and more so in its values.

It is not only the judicial administration of the country but lots of other provisions and organizations are created to facilitate bringing it to reality, in thought, spirit and practice. Even the executive departments have powers of a different kind, which helps to initiate action and also helps to clip the wings of nefarious and criminal elements, who in other democratic garbs, do precisely the same thing. The different commissions created for specific purposes, can exercise their power and clout, to make a difference. Democracy provides space to those who demand it, and when you are legally mandated and have a goal to achieve, you ought to flex your elbow and get the requisite space. Otherwise, somebody else will usurp that power and make you believe that he is the democratic proprietor of it.

Democratic pause, is that break in democratic thought, when you are not able to break the nexus or forcible connection being created by vested interests, in the garb of democracy. It is not very difficult to make out, but the challenge is whether you are ready to do that. It applies mostly to the critical components of the Indian state. They are supposed to have that eagle’s eye, the discerning one and courage to take it on and to its logical conclusion. The law is already there in their favor. Of the latest laws, the Right to Information Act can do wonders, if it is taken in the right direction, with the application of legal and crisis management mindset, to unravel the facts and data, and then it becomes easier to take it on the rails of justice. That it was/is differently used is also a fact of life.

Public Interest Litigation is another legal tool, which was created to keep the audacious under check, and throw the lid off the surreptitious. It was introduced by Justice P.N. Bhagwati, promising a paradigm shift in cognizance of irregularity and the justice dispensation thereof. Even more intriguing are the suo-motu powers, of both the executive and the judiciary. The police can book a variety of cases suo-motto, a great legal enablement but how well has it been used? Do we have a suo-motto mindset, which can be defined as propriety, justice and activism seamlessly merged into one. When courts have such powers, it is presumed that nothing would be able to escape their legal eagle’s eye. There is no scope for a democratic pause there. Criminal justice system works under the same controls which the judiciary can effectively put under proper legal discipline.

Sanjay Sahay

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