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"Statue of Lady Justice” Needs Replacement with gender neutral mascot
Capt (IN) J.K. Sharma | 21 Dec 2013

“Statue of Lady Justice” Rendered Irrelevant –Needs Replacement with gender neutral mascot. I am submitting this letter as an ordinary citizen of India with a request to take it as an application for your Honours’ Suo-Motto consideration and necessary action as deemed fit.


2. India  after its independence continued to follow  the Justice System authored by the British 175 years back as part of British Legacy and the installation of “Statue of Lady Justice” representing the same in High Courts of all States and Supreme Court at New Delhi.
3. There have been voices seeking Reforms in Judicial System, which have yet to see light of day in their acceptance and implementation as the complex mechanism of Parliamentary Democracy is involved and the Legislature is at the helm of right to enact laws.
4. Howsoever, I opine that there is one change, whose time has come and  which can be brought about by the Collegium of Hon’ble Supreme Court in its independent capacity without needing any legislation or approval from the administrative authority.
5. AND that  change is  about replacement of the “Statue of Lady Justice” which has been rendered irrelevant in the Indian Context and substituting it with an Indigenous Statue.
6. The history of “Statue of Lady Justice” and its irrelevance in Indian Context is  discussed in subsequent paragraphs.
 
HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE
7. Comprehensive  research on the subject “ What are the reasons behind depicting "Lady Justice" as a Symbol of Justice in Courts around the World?” is available on
http://lawhumanitiesroma3.blogspot.in/2013/03/who-is-lady-justice.html
8. Following is taken from there :- Lady Justice is a symbol that represents Justice as a divine concern. Since the ancient Greece period, justice is considered not a simple value, but a supreme governing principle of human society. In fact Dike was one of the three Horai, mythical and divine personification of the seasons by the Greeks. The Horai had the function to subtract the human becoming arbitrariness and disorder. The concept of order refer the names of three Horai: Dike (justice); Eunomia (good governance); Irene (peace). They were daughters of Zeus and Themis. The Romans became 12, as the division of the day. Dike is the justice of the State, which was called Iustitia by the Latins. But the Roman Iustitia is different from the Greek Themis. She’s also a goddess of justice, but justice of single man: the sense of justice in each of us (Inside Justice). Similar to Iustitia is instead Dike, also called Astrea. About this there is a source in Le Opere e I Giorni, written by Esiodo, a Greek ancient poet lived during the VIII-VII centuries. He says that there was a gold ilk before. Men lived as the gods: they didn’t know the old age, but they remained intent on banquets and parties. When was the time to die, they gently feel asleep. People did not have to work and the goods belong to all spontaneously. So talked about Golden Age: this was the reign of justice and peace. But with the following Reign of Zeus, also called the Iron Age, disappeared this breed. Then the men were prey of emptiness: Victa iacet pietas, et Virgo caede madentes, ultima caelestum, terras Astraea reliquit (Won lies the pity, and the Virgin Astrea leale the last of the land drenched in blood), Ovidio, Metamorfosi, I, vv. 149-150. So the crimes of humanity did escape Iustitia and forced to leave the Land, refuges herself in the sky, where she became the constellation Virgo. And Astrea is, in fact, the name of Virgo constellation. Also Virgilio talk about Astrea as a virgin, in his fourth eclogue of the Bucoliche: (vv. 5.7): magnus ab integro saeclorum nascitur ordo. Iam redit et Virgo, redeunt Saturnia regna; iam nova progenies caelo demittitur ab alto (Already the Virgins returns, the reign of Saturn returns; already the new progeny descends from heaven). This is the mythological origin of Lady Justice, but she has been represented in different ways in the various countries. The personification of justice has had great importance in painting too.
 
THE DEBATE : Is the Statue of “Lady Justice” Relevant in Today’s India ?
9. What is the situation in India today? Is the symbolism depicted in the statue followed in practice? Not at all. In fact far from that. 
• The Weighing Scale though depicted as balanced is heavily tilted towards money, power and untruth.
• The blindfold is ineffective as decisions are biased and the sword is rusted as it delivers no fear.
10. Indian legal system is a legacy of our colonial rulers and with the passing of time many evils have crept into it and it fails to satisfy the aspiration of the people. The system is too slow and far too lenient. The system is controlled by those who are more worried about criminal's rights and rehabilitation than victim's rights, or loss thereof, and restitution.
11. For example, many drunk drivers who have killed innocents by running their powerful cars over them are walking free for years together after the crime. They use all sorts of methods to adjourn the cases and get new dates. The process goes on for years and years. One of the well-known cases is Nanda trial at Delhi.  Very recently, the top brass of the Mumbai police has issued a show-cause notice to the officer investigating Sunday’s (i.e., 15th Dec. 2013) hit-and-run case involving an Aston Martin registered in the name of Reliance Ports after it was found that the FIR did not have the detailed description of the person at the wheel.  A number of such cases are going on.
12. People who were  proved to be carrying illegal weapons were leading a free life ( till very recently) and even police shake hands with them. Judges are undergoing trials for corruption. Justice Soumitra Sen of the Calcutta High Court  went  down in history as the first judge to be removed by impeachment .Then there was a case of Cash at Judges Door in case of Former Punjab and Haryana High Court Judge Nirmal Yadav. ;AND allegations of moral turpitude against Retd Supreme Court Justice Mr Ganguly and one more Justice i Result: People have no faith in judiciary, they take law in the own hand and punish the culprit.
13. In one of the Indian states, a man raped a young girl, cut off her arms and left her to die. The community was outraged and wanted this monster to die. The rapist's punishment was to receive free room and board in prison for a few years, free legal and medical services with no responsibilities at vast expense to the government and in turn to public. When the court finally released him after serving the jail term, lynch mobs waited for him. The authorities mobilized considerable resources to protect the criminal. They moved him to a different state, where lynch mobs again formed. Eventually the police moved him to a jail in a remote town, the only place where they could protect him. The Political Class  make a mockery of Justice everyday.
14. There is no fear of law anywhere in the country. Road blocks, Bandhs and destruction of public and private property by the demonstrators are a common feature. People start agitation and destruction of property on flimsy and trivial grounds. It appears that the nation has become unmanageable for the government. 
15. In recent years, it appears that, people have lost faith in the police, who not only watch as dumb spectators but also indulge in heinous crimes. The country continues to be plagued by violence against women. India, especially the north, has shown an unfortunate disregard for women. One of the biggest yardsticks of a civilization is the security and freedoms that it provides to its citizens. India lags woefully behind in this regard. Community customs are considered superior to state laws, which are completely ignored. Authorities watch helplessly when young girls are killed because they married a young man they loved and the act is described as “Honour Killing”.
16. Then there are false cases galore. The provisions of laws have been allowed to be misused by the state machinery to settle political scores , vindictive wives or girls . The whole machinery was agog  in reporting Nisha Sharma who refused to marry a man on wedding night getting whole family of brides groom arrested, overnight she became a  brave heart girl, her episode found   chapter in school books. After 10 years when it came to light that she had played a trick in cohort with her lover with whom she had secretly married in the same morning, no action was taken by the state against her. Similarly in case of Shankracharya of Kanchi & Captain Subba Rao of Indian Navy against whom state launched a false case of Treason at the behest of powers that be in the establishment of Nuclear Technology. Recently CEO of an NGO Mr Khurshid Anwer Committed  suicide on allegation of rape against him. There are two different yard sticks used by law enforcement agencies. In case of Suicide by females the police acts swiftly and arrests the person named in suicide note, whereas in case of suicide by men due various reasons including  false cases of 498A (running into 87000  for 2012 as per Ministry of Home Affairs Data) , no or nil action is taken by police. The Law  and the Law enforcement machinery has been playing with honour and life of innocent citizens including senior citizens. Unjust  biased laws  against the basic tenant of natual justice are allowed to remain in Statute Books  and not struck down, although the fear of such laws has been voiced by Cabinet Minister Farooq Abdulah standing on stairs of Parliament.
17. All such incidents have resulted in the rise of suppressed anger. The  suppressed anger goes  berserk  and results in destruction of government property  because people have lost faith in the system of justice.
18. Practices such as the acceptance of favours or misappropriation of public funds have actually come to be described as 'perks' of holding public office and employment. For a simple job like obtaining a death certificate from authorities one has to pay a price.
19. In the words of former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan: "Corruption is an insidious plague that has a wide range of corrosive effects on societies. It undermines democracy and the rule of law, leads to violations of human rights, distorts markets, erodes the quality of life, and allows organised crime, terrorism and other threats to human security to flourish." To what extent recent enactment of LOKPAL  Act serves the purpose to curtail Corruption will be a study of interest in the coming years , as its implementation is all together another aspect.
20. Article 39-A of the Indian Constitution that directs the State - to secure equal justice and free legal aid for the citizens. But the experiences of last 6 decades years show that the State has failed squarely on addressing some very basic issues - quick and inexpensive justice and protecting the rights of poor and the vulnerable.
21. The system is on the verge of collapse with more than 30 million cases clogging the system. There are cases that take so much of time that even a generation is too short to get any type of redressal. That it will take more than 300 years to clear the backlog of cases in Indian courts is proof enough that our criminal justice system is sick, stagnant and in urgent need of a complete overhaul.
22. As a result the image of the “Statue of Lay Justice” has been completely tarnished in the eyes of ordinary citizens in India of the 21st century and needs to be replaced with an ideological one.
 
NEED OF HOUR
23. Honesty and integrity of the Judges must be given top priority. The judges should not merely be honest but also seem to be so. Besides being honest, fearless and independent, they must also be learned and wise. They must have sound legal knowledge, and must also know how to apply that legal knowledge to the cases before them. Their appointments promotions   must be under control of independent authority. They must be able to separate the grain of truth from the chaff of falsehood. They must be firm and above suspicion so that they may decide a case fearlessly and give their judgment without fear or favour.
24. Litigations should not be perennial. The reason one goes to court is to get justice, and "Justice Delayed is Justice Denied". Unfortunately the judicial system in India is based on Evidences and facts not conscience or morals, so it should be easier, once having the facts at hand, all it needs is argument and hearing and quicker pronouncement of Justice.
25. The Indian  people who are illiterate by and large, indigent in no small measure, feudal in their way of life, and tribal and backward in large numbers, need an unconventional cadre of jurists and judges, if equal justice under the law is to be a reality.
26. The above may form part of wider debate of Judicial reforms. How-so-ever the present application is limited to irrelevance of “Statue of Lady Justice”.
IRRELEVANCE OF “STATUE OF LADY JUSTICE”
27. The Hon.ble Supreme Court on Monday the 7th October 2013 had asked the Centre how far its order on August 5, 2013 , to set up 22 special CBI courts to try corruption cases involving high-profile politicians and public servants has been implemented. To this query "Solicitor General Mohan Parasaran frankly admitted that the court's order had not been implemented". 
28. The Hon.ble SC Bench of Justice B S Chauhan and Justice S A Bobde while dismissing the anticipatory bail plea of IPS officer P P Pandey, accused in Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case, on August 12 said: "We are sorry to say that the court's time is being used by senior advocates and big criminals.
29. "We can say on oath that only 5 per cent of the time is being used for common citizens, whose appeals are waiting for 20 or 30 years. This court has become a safe haven for big criminals. You come here for the sixth or eighth time for anticipatory bail and we should hear as if we were a trial court." 
30. That earlier in December 2011 , Delhi High Court judge S N Dhingra, had said: "…criminal justice system needs overhauling so that the constitutional mandate of equality before law is made meaningful and it should not be the case that higher courts are kept occupied by the person with money or power, as is the case today".
Lawyer Manish Khanna, who has been fighting for speedy trial for the poor, said: "It is a well know fact that hearing pattern in most courts change when petitions of the rich and powerful come up. Senior advocates who appear for them get special attention."
31. Is it thus not clear that the image of the statue of Lay Justice has been completely tarnished in the eyes of ordinary citizens in India of the 21st century. Therefore it is felt that there is no need for the statue of Lady Justice in any of the courts, high courts and Supreme Court. 
32. The Bias towards Women related cases is becoming  more and  more discernible , wherein, Women Courts are being established , which will be staffed by 'Women Judges' , to look into matters concerning women related cases. Now demands are being raised that such courts should be represented by women prosecutors. AND all these women will  supervise on  laws  biased in favour of , that is.,  498A, PWDVAct 2005, Sexual Harassment / Rape; Amendment  to Divorce laws incorporating IrBM . Under such circumstances the “Statute of Lady Justice”   even though blind folded is still a lady and hence impartial justice will be denied to men.
 
PROPOSED MASCOT OF JUSTICE
33. Therefore there is a need for gender neutral mascot  of a “TILTED BALANCE” resting on Statute Book of  ‘Constitution of India’ with a “Hammer of Justice”  resting in front of the  “TILTED BALANCE”;   depicting that  “A  Single Grain of TRUTH”  shall always   outweigh   “Reams of UNTRUTH or loads of GOLD” at the scale of Justice.