On Thursday, the Supreme Court ruled that the independence of the district judiciary, being the first line of defence, is cardinal to the administration of justice. If citizen’s faith has to be preserved, this colonial mindset towards district judiciary has to change.
The Bench acknowledged that trial judges work under challenging conditions, the Court emphasised the need to protect the district judiciary. The Bench noted that impartiality was the cornerstone of independence of the judiciary, and if judges give in to pressure, then political clout will flourish.
As per the Court, independence of judiciary implies independence of all judges from political pressures and other external influence and control. There should also be independence from higher-ups in the judiciary itself, so no one interferes in the decisions.
The Court pulled up the State government and the police authorities in connection with Congress leader Devendra Chaurasia’s murder in Damoh, MP.
These observations were made when the Bench DY Chandrachud and Hon’ble Hrishikesh Roy was pronouncing their judgement in Chaurasia’s som Somesh Chaurasia’s plea regarding MP HC directed in July 2019 that investigation may be completed within three months. If, after investigation, it is found that Singh was involved in the crime, he should be arrested.
In February 2021, the ASJ issued an arrest warrant and subsequent to that; the police authorities were trying to intimidate the judge, who later complained to the District Judge.
On Thursday, the Court remarked that there couldn’t be two parallel legal systems, one for rich and powerful and the other for the ordinary person, and such a dual system would chip away the legitimacy of the law.
Accordingly, the Bench directed the DGP of MP to ensure the arrest of the second respondent and report compliance through a personal affidavit. The Bench also directed the DGP to look into the allegations levelled by the second respondent against the SP of Damoh.
Lastly, the Court ordered that the ASJ, Hata, should be given adequate security.