The president of the Supreme Court Bar Aaasociation (SCBA), Dushyant Dave, told the SC bench hearing the validity of the National Judicial Appointments Commission on Monday that judges should walk in burqa to sense how frustrated people are with the current justice delivery system.
Scathing in his attack on the judiciary, Dave criticised the collegium system of appointment adding that it worked on a “give-and-take principle.”
He said, “Be it the 1984 anti-Sikh riots or the 2002 Gujarat riots, none of these cases have rendered justice, and if you were to see how wrong appointments have been made, you would know the reason. It is a shame how every court is going an extra mile to protect politicians and film stars, and ordinary citizens are deprived of justice.”
He told the bench presided over by Justice J S Khehar, “I would request you to wear a burqa and walk in the corridor someday, you will get to know how disgraceful judges have become.”
Dave also lamented that while every accused in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case and the Gujarat riots case, including life term convict Maya Kodnani, had all got bail from the Supreme Court, Teesta Setalvad, who fought for the riot victims, was made to run for protection from arrest.
He added, “Acting chief justice of a high court decides to sit in a single bench, gets the roster for criminal cases, has the case transferred to his bench from another bench and quashes the FIR only because the person involved happens to be a top film star. Which driver gets bail within hours of conviction unless he happens to be a top film star? Which person will get bail by this court on the first day of the bail plea and without a notice to the other side if it is not a big politician? It is a shame.”
Responding to Dave’s remarks, the bench responded, “Judges are appointed from bar only. You talk about a few judges but you don’t talk about hundreds of others who work tirelessly day in and day out for this system. You crush them under the weight of others.”
Dave said that while judges were indeed being selected from bar, but “appointed by the collegium.”
The bench asked Dave to come up with ways to improve the current system. The arguments in the case will continue on Thursday.