The range of political opponents in the country is gradually decreasing. Politics is becoming bitter instead of mutual respect between the rulers and the opposition. Laws are being passed in the country without proper discussion or review. As a result, there is increasing pressure on the judicial department if there are cases challenging those laws. Supreme Court Chief Justice N V Ramana made this comment the day before yesterday. As he expressed concern that day about the health of India’s democracy, he called for an “urgent” look at issues such as hasty arbitrary arrests and prolonged detention of under-trials without bail. Although no one was named, the opposition felt that this observation of the Chief Justice was significant in the current political situation of the country.
On 16th July, Chief Justice attended several functions in Jaipur, Rajasthan. “Earlier there was a lot of mutual respect between the government and the opposition. Unfortunately, that range of opposition is diminishing. We are seeing laws being passed without thorough discussion and review,” he said at an event in the Rajasthan Legislative Assembly organized by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association. According to the Chief Justice, India was supposed to have a parliamentary democracy and not a parliamentary government. And the demand of parliamentary democracy is strong opposition. In this context, he said, “Politics has become bitter instead of debate which is necessary to take democracy forward. Political opposition should not take the form of hostility. Sadly, that is what we are seeing lately. This is not a sign of a healthy democracy.”
The Chief Justice said that on Independence Day last year, he had said something about the deterioration in the quality of debate and the lack of debate in the legislature. He is not criticizing. He is expressing his concern with respect to the legislature and public representatives. He said, “I am worried about the pressure on the Judiciary due to defects in law-making. If Bills are debated in a clear and dispassionate manner, with all constructive suggestions taken, then we can get good laws. Perfect law relieves the judicial system from the burden of litigation.”
According to the opposition camp, this concern of the Chief Justice is justified. From the amended Citizenship Act, to the Agrarian Act, to the Agneepath project – each has been brought in by the Narendra Modi government with unilateral influence. Arrests and beatings of political leaders and ideological opponents are also going on at the same rate. Several social workers are still not released in the Bhima Koregaon case. Father Stan Swamy died in jail. Teesta Setalvad was jailed for Gujarat riots case. Journalist Mohammad Zubair was arrested for his four-year-old tweet and has not yet been released. The Chief Justice also expressed concern about the large number of under-trial prisoners in the country at the opening ceremony of the two-day conference of the National Legal Services Authority in Jaipur the day before yesterday. Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju was on the stage of the event.