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The Supreme Court crisis: Removing the veil of secrecy
In an unprecedented action, recently, four judges of the Supreme Court held a press conference criticising the goings-on in the apex court.

They alleged that the administration of the highest court in the land was not in order and expressed unhappiness over the actions of the Chief Justice of India, Dipak Misra, who, they claimed, was allocating important cases to junior judges in a unilateral and biased manner. It was after all efforts on their part to convince him to take remedial measures failed that they decided to approach the press.

A furore immediately broke out with some denouncing their act saying that it had imperilled the judiciary.  While the rebel judges maintained that they had taken the extreme step in order to preserve the integrity of the judiciary which was essential to protect our democracy, their critics declared that they had done irreparable harm to the institution. 

However, what these critics fail to take into account is that veils of secrecy have no place in a democracy.  We the people expect transparency from the institutions that are supposed to serve us that includes the judiciary as well as the government.  In fact, it's high time that service rules which forbid government employees from removing similar veils of secrecy surrounding the government are amended so that whistle blowers are not punished for exposing the rot within.  Many government employees who dare to talk about the shady deals that routinely take place at all levels of the government often face suspension, transfers or outright dismissal.  This is not compatible with the very idea of a democracy.

What the four rebel judges - J Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan B Lokur and Kurien Joseph – did, is laudable and necessary. Democratic nations have no business keeping secrets from the people and hiding scandals under the carpet.  Secrecy and silence create an atmosphere conducive for corruption and abuse of power. More transparency is the need of the hour which is why the RTI act exists. Judges are also human beings with human frailties.  They should be held accountable for their sins of omission and commission like the ordinary citizens of this country.  For too long, Indian citizens have been forced to watch as mere spectators while those who were tasked with ensuring their welfare took refuge in the need for secrecy to preserve the dignity of the concerned offices and institutions even as they indulged in corrupt and criminal practices. Under the circumstances, what the rebel judges did is something to be praised and welcomed. 

As Judge Gogoi rightly said, all they have done is to discharge a debt to the nation for which we the citizens are thankful.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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