Bureaucracy verses Judiciary
By Hakim Mohammad Ilyas
The State Judiciary administers a common law system of legal jurisdiction, in which customs, precedents and legislation, all codify the law of the land. The judiciary interprets the Constitution as its final arbiter.
It is its duty as mandated by the Constitution, to be its watchdog, by calling for scrutiny of any act of the legislature or the executive, who otherwise, are free to enact or implement these, from overstepping bounds set for them by the Constitution.
It acts like a guardian in protecting the fundamental rights of the people, as enshrined in the Constitution, from infringement by any organ of the state. It also balances the conflicting exercise of power between the centre and a state or among states, as assigned to them by the Constitution.
Being at the receiving end, for a common man justice is like a God, where he expects solution to his problems when all other doors are closed for him. This institution symbolises for him the safeguard of equality, freedom, rights and privileges warranted for him under the Constitution.
However, unfortunately for bureaucrats and government officers it is just a mockery. They are using it for their own interests and conveniences and hardly pay heed to court orders. Usually they don’t bother to submit objections years together, notwithstanding implementing court order is far away. For non compliance, court used to send contempt notices as an extreme tool which nowadays, also end up being not hounoured.
The reason for non cooperation is vivid. The Sarkari people know it very well that justice system has been rendered as a toothless tiger more so by the laid back attitudes of these babus by non-implementation of the court judgments murdering justice by and large. The victims are left with only one option to see the court orders implemented that is to bribe the clerks who are at helm of affairs. Interestingly, sometimes it works.
It would not be out of context to mention here that there are thousands of cases where court has passed final orders and are awaiting for implementation. Unfortunately, there is no such option available where a nodal agency between administration and judiciary to monitor the implementation of court directions is put in place.
On 26-11-2018 in the open court Hon’ble Chief Justice of J&K High Court observed that approximately 4000 contempt petitions are pending before the High Court Srinagar thereby indicating that the Government is not complying with the directions of the Court.
The Chief Justice has observed that, in case the directions issued by the court are not complied with, the court will be constrained to summon the Administrative Secretaries or Head of Departments for non compliance.
Taking the cognisance in the matter, B V R Subrahmanyam Chief Secretary of J&K vide No. PS/CS/L/88/2018/1561 Dated 29-11-2018 directed all Administrative Secretaries/Head of Departments “immediately review the contempt petitions pending against their departments in High Court both at Srinagar and Jammu, and take a well informed decision in each of these cases, if need be in consultation with the department of Law Justice and Parliamentary affairs and ensure compliance with the Courts direction.”
After passing several orders by Chief Justice and Chief Secretary, things hardly move the way the victim and equally the judiciary want them to be. Being a victim myself, I have personally witnessed how government officers make mockery of these court orders disdainfully.
The writer works in the Technical Education Department. He can be reached at [email protected]