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Justice-karnan 

A law student in any university anywhere in the world is taught that before convicting a person of a crime a detailed reasoned judgement ought to be ready. In fact in criminal cases the judgement convicting a person is pronounced on a particular day; and the quantum of punishment is announced later after the lawyers have had a chance to argue on it. In Justice C.S. Karnan’s case the order of conviction and punishment and imprisonment was pronounced on the same day i.e. 9 May, 2017 in his absence; the detailed reasoned judgements– actually two separate but concurring judgements – as per media reports were made available on the Supreme Court website only on 5 July, 2017. These judgementsare said to have been given by the then seven senior most judges of the Supreme Court. Any law student anywhere in the world would naturally be aghast at the violation of a fundamental principle of the justice system. And this is not the only fallacy.

One of the judges who gave the majority judgement had retired on 27 May, 2017; which means that the signatures of all of these judges should have been affixed by 27 May, 2017. But was it done?

From 9 May, 2017 till date Karnan’s lawyers had been trying to get the attention of the Court – both during and after the summer vacation – through the process of ‘mentioning’ before the relevant bench of the time. In fact most of the time Karnan’s lawyers were treated shabbily, threatened with eviction from the court. In one instance Karnan’s lawyers were told to approach the Court after a month i.e. after the vacation. When they did so after the summer break, they were told not to disturb the court proceedings!

It reminds one of how people from the Scheduled Caste community were treated in the last two millennium as and when they tried to enter the holy precincts of a temple in India. Mostly they were kicked out of the temples. Sufi saints like Nanak and Ramdev have captured it well in their verses five centuries back. So even today a Dalit judge like C.S. Karnan is being treated in the same way; one just has to read about how his lawyers had been treated in the Supreme Court from 9 May, 2017 onwards to be convinced about this.

Could it be that one of the judges had actually retired and not affixed his signature on the judgement; so efforts were being made behind the scene for a ‘resolution of this technicality’? This scenario seems more likely than the contrived projection that all the judges in the majority judgement had affixed their signatures on or before 27 May, 2017.

Now that Justice Karnan’s case seeking bail and challenging his six months sentenceis provisionally listed for 7 July, 2017, the timing of the reasoned judgements being made available on 5 July, 2017 raises suspicion. The entire national press (print and t.v. channels) is at the service of the establishment to damn Justice C.S. Karnan. Lest people in India have forgotten, the same seven wise judges of the Supreme Court had put a gag on the press to the effect that Justice Karnan’s statements were not to be carried w.e.f. 9 May, 2017. Thus in effect the media on 6th and 7th of July, 2017 would be shredding Karnan’s credibility to smithereens; while Karnan’s view point would stay censored. So the stage is being set to ensure that there is no sympathy for Justice Karnan whatsoever when his case is taken up hopefully on 7 July, 2017 in the Supreme Court.

Only a high level independent enquiry can reveal the truth. To get to the bottom of it, an independent agency would have to get hold of all the personal computers, hard disks etc. of all the seven judges; seal these and send them for forensic examination. All the emails exchanged on the issue between the judges would need to be examined. The effort should be to ascertain when each of the seven judges affixed their signatures on the judgements (as there are more than one judgements). The individual seven judges should be subjected to thorough interrogation to arrive at the truth.

Let us beware that the judicial tyranny and dictatorship are as bad as any oppressive regime.

Dr. P.S. Sahni is a member of PIL Watch Group. Email: pilwatchgroup@gmail.com

7 Comments

  1. Baldev Singh says:

    Guru Nanak had said, “Raje Sheen Mukadam Kutte”, it mean Kings are lions and judges are dogs !

  2. K SHESHU BABU says:

    This is a ‘ TIME ‘ less judgement ! Or is it time ‘ LESS ‘ judgement!

  3. K SHESHU BABU says:

    What can one say except these words with tears ‘ A Daniel has come to judgement ‘ ( Shakespeare )

  4. Vijay Kumar Agarwal says:

    Dear Dr. Sahni,

    After reading your insightful article, I am reminded of William Shakespeare who said that life is a tale told by an idiot full of sound and fury signifying nothing. Taking a cue from Shakespeare, I would like to submit that all those Judgments, which are not in consonance with the highest traditions of the Judiciary, are nothing but a horrible and shocking tale told by an idiot full of sound and fury signifying nothing.

    While on Shakespeare, he also said: “The first thing we do, let us kill all the lawyers.”
    I submit that times and climes have changed, and, therefore, this Shakespearian wisdom may be extended to include……………..

    ******************************

    Let me clarify that I am aware that by referring to the above-noted wisdom of Shakespeare, I run the risk of being dubbed as a cynic. But, I am not. The extraordinary situation needs extraordinary remedies. George Bernard Shaw said: “All progress depends upon the unreasonable man. All evolution in thought and conduct must at first appear as heresy and misconduct.”

    ***************************

    During the saga of my struggle during the last more than 30 years which is continuing unabated, despite two SC Judgments in my favour dated 30.8.1988 and 29.1.2014, I have found the following dialogue in Lewis Carroll: Through the Looking Glass, and What Alice Found There (1871) deeply consoling:

    “When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”
    Humpty Dumpty
    “The question is whether you can make words mean so many different things”. Alice
    “The question is which is to be master—that’s all”. Humpty Dumpty

    I came across the above-noted dialogue in Evan Whitton’s book titled Serial Lawyers (Our Corrupt Legal System) who has aptly developed a concept called THE HUMPTY OPTION: Judges’ power to assert that words have meanings different from their real meanings, e.g., ‘absolutely’ does not mean ‘absolutely’.

    ****************************

    While talking of my hurt and consolation, let me mention one of my countless experiences. There was a Judge in the Hon’ble High Court of Delhi (now elevated as Chief Justice of the Hon’ble High Court of Rajasthan) who, in his Judgment dated 14.12.2010, had the audacity to ignore and play possum regarding an earlier Order of the Hon’ble High Court of Delhi dated 28.7.2008 which had fixed a time limit of 8 months for concluding an alleged inquiry dated 6.7.1988 against me. He also ignored a further Order of the Hon’ble High Court declining to extend the said time limit of 8 months. So ignoring both these Orders, the said knight errant Judge delivered the said Judgment dated 14.12.2010 against me. I filed a CMP and submitted that the said Judgment dated 14.12.2010 was not in consonance with the highest traditions of the Hon’ble High Court inasmuch as the said two favourable Orders did not find even an iota of mention or whisper in the said Judgment dated 14.12.2010, and, therefore, it might be rectified vide the legal maxim actus curiae neminem gravabit, i.e., no one shall be harmed due to the mistake of the Court. Apparently, I had a solid case. But, my CMP was dismissed by the said knight errant Judge.

    At that stage, my sense of justice and my conscience compelled me to file another CMP and I did file another CMP. Along with this second CMP, I also filed one more CMP for transfer of the case from the said knight errant Judge. Lo and behold, on 9.12.2011, the said knight errant Judge issued notice to the respondents, and, on 28.3.2012, the said knight errant Judge terminated the said alleged inquiry dated 6.7.1988!

    Thereafter, on 20.4.2012, the said knight errant Judge also issued notice for opening of sealed covers dated 1.7.1991, 1.7.1995 and 1.7.1997 regarding my promotions. But, for the next more than 5 years till his elevation, he kept on adjourning, on one flimsy pretext or the other, the said matter regarding the said opening of sealed covers.

    Despite my repeated written and oral submissions that the said non-opening of sealed covers amounted to driving a coach and four through Articles 14 and 16 of the Constitution, vide a catena of Judgments of the Hon’ble Supreme Court, the said Judge continued in his knight errantry, and, lo and behold got elevated!

    Needless to add, my petition regarding the said opening of sealed covers, wherein the said notice dated 20.4.2012 was issued, is still pending in the Hon’ble High Court of Delhi for the last more than 5 years.

    ****************************

    It may be added that the said knight errantry is not confined or restricted to the level of the Hon’ble High Court of Delhi. Alas! even our Hon’ble Supreme Court, these days, is not immune from it. For instance, please see the Judgment of the Hon’ble SC dated 6.10.2015 titled Vijay Kumar Agarwal v Union of India and another. In a word, in the said Judgment dated 6.10.2015, the Hon’ble SC has played possum with its own earlier inter se Judgment dated 29.1.2014, and, I have been driven from pillar to post in search of justice. And, this is only the tip of the proverbial iceberg of knight errantry which is also known as Procrustean approach. Ironically, the author of both of the said Judgments of the Hon’ble SC dated 29.1.2014 and 6.10.2015 is the same Judge. This Judge of Hon’ble SC was also earlier working as a Judge of the Hon’ble High Court of Delhi and it is a talk of the town that a number of his close relatives are working as lawyers in Delhi.

    Can such dubious activities inspire confidence, faith and trust in the Judiciary? Are not such Judges doing permanent damage to the institution of Judiciary? Unfortunately, the stock reply of intellectually bankrupt Judges is that “we do not need any certificate from you”. But, my Lords, you have yourself observed many times that hubris is not justice. May I add that the quality of your Judgments indeed reflects the kind of conscience and character you have, vide Ayn Rand.

    *****************************

    MORALS OF THE STORY:

    (1) “India is a rich country inhabited by poor people.” What does the expression poor people mean here? In my humble opinion, it refers to those psychopaths who represent the powers that be. The hallmark of these psychopaths is conscience-less-ness, vide Dr. Robert D. Hare.
    My respectful submission is that there are a large number of judicial misfits in the Indian Judiciary and they must be weeded out by applying the test of psychopathy developed by Dr. Robert D. Hare.

    (2) The threat to the Judiciary is from within.

    VIJAY KUMAR AGARWAL, EX-IAS
    HOUSE NO. C-8-C, PANDAV NAGAR, DELHI-110092
    011-22486066, 011-22486066, 9560172716
    vijay.kumar.agarwal.ias@gmail.com

  5. Vijay Kumar Agarwal says:

    Dear Dr. Sahni,

    In continuation of my earlier comment on your insightful article, I would like to add that forensic terrorism, recidivist administrative deviance and anarchy are the hallmarks of the conduct of the powers that be, barring some honourable exceptions. By and large, the convoluted condensate of corruption in the legal scene can be summed up as “Black robes, white lies”, vide Alan M. Dershowitz, Harvard Professor of Law: The Best Defense (1982)

    “One working title for this book was ‘Black Robes, White
    Lies.’ That would have been appropriate, because lying,
    distortion, and other forms of intellectual dishonesty are
    endemic among judges………Beneath the robes of many
    judges, I have seen corruption, incompetence, bias, laziness,
    meanness of spirit, and plain ordinary stupidity. I know of
    numerous instances where judges have made false claims
    about what they read, distorted the records, and engaged in
    other deceptions. Why judges are permitted to get away
    with–and indeed are often praised for–this kind of
    intellectual dishonesty is an important and largely
    unanswered question confronting the American legal
    system.”

    Hon’ble Mr. Justice V.R. Krishna Iyer in The Times of India dated 14.6.2011:

    “Anarchy, alas, has come to stay……..
    That is because the executive today is vitiated with bribery.
    Even the judiciary, once regarded as untouchable and
    unapproachable by money power, is tarnished and sullied.
    People will soon cry for a national revolution. Not mere
    socialism but a republic governed by the little man and not
    as Churchill put it ‘rogues, rascals and freebooters’. Judges
    have lost the values of the Preamble and the significance of
    the oath of office…..”

    Lord Hailsham (quoted by Shri N. A. Palkhivala in We The Nation)

    “The greatest illusion of our people is their infantile belief
    in the legal solubility of all problems. In the wise words of
    Lord Hailsham, the former Lord Chancellor of the UK, “We
    might do well to remember that in the whole realm of
    human relations there is no field more vulnerable to
    corruption, dishonesty, chicanery, and sheer quackery and
    charlatanism than contested litigation…””

    William Shakespeare (1564-1616)

    “As flies to wanton boys are we to th’ gods,
    They kill us for their sport.” King Lear (Act 4, scene 1)

    “Well, heaven forgive him! and forgive us all!
    Some rise by sin, and some by virtue fall:
    Some run from brakes of ice, and answer none:
    And some condemned for a fault alone.”
    Measure for Measure (Act 2, scene 1)

    “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
    But in ourselves, that we are underlings.”
    Julius Caesar (Act 1, scene 2)

    Charles Darwin (1809-1882):

    “We must, however, acknowledge, as it seems to me, that
    man with all his noble qualities… still bears in his bodily
    frame the indelible stamp of his lowly origin.”

    Arthur Koestler (1905-1983)

    “When one contemplates the streak of insanity running
    through human history, it appears highly probable that
    homo sapiens is a biological freak, the result of some
    remarkable mistake in the evolutionary process. The
    ancient doctrine of original sin, variants of which occur
    independently in the mythologies of diverse cultures, could
    be a reflection of man’s awareness of his own inadequacy,
    of the intuitive hunch that somewhere along the line of his
    ascent something has gone wrong.”

    Robert Fitch:

    “Man is a beast. The only difference between man and the other beasts is that man is a
    beast that knows he will die. The only honest man is the unabashed egotist. This
    honest man pours contempt upon the mendacity, the lies, the hypocrisy of those who
    will not acknowledge their egotism. The one irreducible value is life, which you must
    cling to as you can and use for the pursuit of pleasure and of power. The specific ends
    of life are sex and money. The great passions are lust and rapacity. So the human
    comedy is an outrageous medley of lechery, alcoholism, homosexuality, blasphemy,
    greed, brutality, hatred, obscenity. It is not a tragedy because it has not the dignity of a
    tragedy. The man who plays his role in it has on himself the marks of a total depravity.
    And as for the ultimate and irreducible value, life, that in the end is also a lie.”

    My submission is that the fence is eating the crop. Judges, who are supposed to protect the Fundamental Rights of the citizens, are themselves violating the fundamental principles of judicial procedure, as submitted in detail in my previous comment on this article.

    Furthermore, honest and law-abiding citizens are being treated as criminals.

    For instance, I am a National Merit Scholarship holder and I joined the IAS in 1982 as a direct recruit through UPSC. The Hon’ble SC has held in its Judgment dated 30.8.1988 that the qualities attributed to me by the Government of India and the Government of Maharashtra are indeed the best qualities of any officer, vide AIR 1988 SC 2060, Vijay Kumar, IAS v State of Maharashtra and others.

    But, the Government of India and the Government of Maharashtra have left no stone unturned in treating me as a criminal. A bogus inquiry dated 6.7.1988 was started by GOM against me. It was terminated by HC on 28.3.2012 and by SC on 29.1.2014, i.e., after 24 and 26 years, respectively.

    Therefore, all consequential orders against me have become inconsequential. Accordingly, I am entitled to all the consequential benefits arising out of the termination of the said bogus inquiry. But, to no avail.

    My entire career has been ruined through the said bogus inquiry. But, no action has been taken against those officers who were responsible for the said bogus inquiry.

    Despite two favourable Judgments of the Hon’ble SC dated 30.8.1988 and 29.1.2014, I, a senior citizen of India, am continuing to be in the wilderness for the last more than 30 years.

    My entire salary with effect from 13.5.1996 has been illegally and unconstitutionally expropriated by GOM. I am not being paid any pension whatsoever.

    GOI and GOM are not only continuing to take advantage of their own wrongs, but are, presumably, fondly cherishing the hope of my early demise, so that truth and justice can be buried forever.

    These facts clearly shows that the prevalent system puts a premium on lawlessness. Can we say that the Hon’ble Judges are oblivious of such anomalies in the system? In the present day and age of judicial activism, why are they not laying down norms and guidelines for preventing the harassment and victimisation of honest and whistle-blowing government servants, like me, who are crusaders against corruption?

    Does this augur well for the posterity? No. The present-day-India is a breeding ground for crime and catastrophe.

    Expropriators shall be expropriated!

    VIJAY KUMAR AGARWAL, EX-IAS
    HOUSE NO. C-8-C, PANDAV NAGAR, DELHI-110092
    011-22486066, 011-22485508, 9560172716
    vijay.kumar.agarwal.ias@gmail.com

  6. Joseph Heller (author of Catch-22): “What does a sane man do in an insane society?”

    “Everyone in my book accuses everyone else of being crazy. Frankly, I think the whole society is nuts — and the question is: What does a sane man do in an insane society?”
    As quoted in “Heller’s legacy will be ‘Catch-22’ ideas” at CNN (13 December 1999)