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Is the Supreme Court really the supreme?
On 6th November 2013, a lady law intern (alumnus of the West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences) posted a blog comment on a website (Journal of Indian Law and Society), mentioning an unpleasant experience of her with a retired Supreme Court (here after SC) Judge which happened on 24th December 2012.
  • It was not a formal & official complaint to any legal authority but has been assumed to be a note in her diary accessible to all.
  • Why did she post this blog comment after a long period of time of 317 days or approximately ten and half months?
  • Why did she not lodge a formal & official complaint to the appropriate authority just after the incidence?
  • She could also have lodged her formal & official complaint on 6th November 2013 even after the lapse of such a long period of time, to the appropriate authority besides /instead of posting a blog comment.
  • She has not lodged any formal & official complaint to any appropriate authority, till date, even after the request of the Delhi Police.
On 12th November 2013, Times of India (New Delhi Edition) published a news on the basis of the above mentioned blog posted comment.
  • Okay, no problem, a news paper may publish news on the basis of one’s blog posted comment which may be a comment on her diary alike.
On this very date of 12th November 2013, the apex court of our country hurriedly constituted 3-member committee to ascertain the truth of the allegations relating to the retired SC Judge.
  • The SC of India had no administrative jurisdiction to constitute such a committee but the Head of the SC of India; CJI did so, and did it hurriedly without lapsing any time, not even  a single day.
  • Not only was the 3-member committee of sitting Judges formed, the committee also hurriedly drew a report and submitted it to the CJI on 27th November 2013 i.e., just after a very short period of 15 days.
  • The committee did not deliver a copy of the affidavit (submitted by the lady law intern to the committee during investigation) to the retired SC Judge on the pretend that it was a confidential one, but it was published in the news papers on 30th November 2013! How was it possible?
On 5th December 2013, the CJI published a notice, based on the report of the 3-member committee, in the official website of the SC of India. In the concluding paragraph of this said notice, the CJI has drawn a decision stating “As decided by the Full Court in its Meeting dated 5th December, 2013, it is made clear that the representations made against former Judges of this Court are not entertainable by the administration of the Supreme Court.”
  • The retired SC Judge had submitted a letter to the CJI with some queries related to this episode on the basis of the law of the land, I think, to uphold the dignity and transparency of The SC of India but the CJI did not respond to the letter till date, as far as I know. Why so happen?
Another side of this episode
  • On the very evening of the date of the 3-member committee’s report submission, i.e., 27th November 2013, one member of Lok Sabha (from ruling party of West Bengal)-cum-Advocate of the SC demanded the resignation of the retired SC Judge from the position of Chairman of West Bengal Human Rights Commission (here after WBHRC).
  • The leaders of opposition party at the center, leader of opposition and leader in the Parliament (Lok Sabha) from the ruling party of West Bengal demanded the same (resignation of the said retired SC Judge from the position of Chairman of WBHRC) several times in different ways.
  • The Additional Solicitor General of India echoed the same.
  • The ‘Minister of Law & Justice’ also demanded the same (resignation of the said retired SC Judge from the position of Chairman of WBHRC).
  • The Chief Minister of West Bengal forwarded one step more (which was the final step) and urged twice, (via letters) the President of India to remove the said retired SC Judge from the position of Chairman of WBHRC.
  • The President of India sent this letter to the Central Government for observation and comments. The Central Government, in receipt of the comments of Attorney General of India, passed the ‘go ahead decision’ of ‘Presidential Reference’, in its Cabinet meeting.
  • Some groups had been demonstrating (with burning of effigy) against the Chairman of the WBHRC in front of its office on regular basis.
All activities/ actions mentioned above, I think, had been (in the works) against the law of land, democratic ethos, Indian Constitution, morality, courtesy and ethics; were carried out to mount the pressure on the said retired SC Judge to resign from his position of the Chairman of the WBHRC. Finally the retired SC Judge resigned from his position on 6th January 2014 with dignity to honor the views of family members and to give reason for the position of Chairmanship.

Few other very relevant points
  • After joining as the Chairman of the WBHRC, the said retired SC Judge had tried his best to protect the Human Rights of the ‘Common People’ of West Bengal like me, Shiladitya Chowdhury, Sudipta Gupta (died in Police Custody), Mir Aminul Islam (self-immolated for the cause of Police), vandalism in Presidency University, etc, under the jurisdiction of the law of the land and the Indian Constitution.
  • After publication (dated 13th August 2012) of the investigation report & recommendations on my case, the Chief Minister of West Bengal strongly criticized him personally on the very next day (14th August 2012), without actually taking his name, while standing on the floor of the assembly. I think, this utterance by the Chief Minister, is a violation of democratic ethos.
  • The recommendations of the WBHRC were either rejected outright by the Government or left to roost somewhere in the State Secretariat.
  • After retirement of two members of the 3-member WBHRC, the state Government filled up one position with recently retired Director General of Police, violating the convention & ignoring the proposal of the leader of opposition in the assembly, while the other position lies vacant.
All points mentioned above clearly reveals that the state Government did not welcome the reports & recommendations of the WBHRC under the leadership of the said retired SC Judge and tried its best to defame him & extend unwelcome behavior to him, in more one.

What are the roles of Constitutional personnel to extend natural justice to the Common People of India, Now?
  • The member of Lok Sabha (from West Bengal)-cum-Advocate of the SC, the CJI, the Delhi Police, leaders of opposition party at the centre, leader of opposition in Parliament, leader in Parliament from the ruling party of West Bengal, Additional Solicitor General of India, Chief Minister of West Bengal, Minister of Law & Justice of India, Attorney General of India and President of India, all are now very much silent to reveal the truth of this episode and to extend natural justice to the retired SC Judge and former Chairman of WBHRC though ‘Common People of India, especially of West Bengal wishes so. I think, no one will try to do so, to reveal the truth and to punish the guilty person.
Concluding Remark
I think, there was a ‘one point task’ to remove the said retired SC Judge from the position of Chairman of WBHRC and that happens with violation of all general laws of the land of India. Common people of India shall not know the truth of this episode and retired SC Judge shall not get the justice. Thus I have been deeply pained for this episode.

(About the Author: Dr Ambikesh Mahapatra is Professor of Chemistry at Jadavpur University, Kolkata)

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