Supreme court's decision of turning down the Allahabad high courts order that imposed lockdown in five major cities of UP has come as a bolt from the blue to legal luminaries, intellectuals, writers, professors and those with knowledge of judiciary, executive and legislative functioning of our parliamentary democracy.
The action of the SC bench that turned down the Allahabad high courts order is being billed as a spineless act to curry post retirement favours from the central government by way of appointments as chairman of tribunals or grabbing several other high lucrative posts, says a political analyst.
It's a power game being played by some SC judges who at the time of appointment profess to live by the spirit of the constitution but this oath vanishes into thin air once the rein is in their hands. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely, Aristotle had said, was the reaction of a Professor of Political science.
It's central government that decides what to do with a retiring supreme court judge. If they are in good books. They get appointment on good posts thereby paving a post retirement era for themselves else they lead a retired life. Look at what Justice Gogoi did… What a blot on judiciary. Like all democratic institutions even the judiciary is compromised now, added another senior criminal lawyer.
Earlier it was politician, police and criminal nexus at the state level, now there's top political and judicial nexus at the centre level, lamented the lawyer. Its well known, appointments to supreme court are political and hence high court judges with longer tenure tend to please governments except a few fearless ones, he further added.
Perhaps, the country now needs a couple of indomitable judges like late Justice Jagmohan Lal Sinha who despite being under immense pressure wrote justice with his pen, unseated the then PM Late Indira Gandhi and left his name written in golden letters in judicial history of this country, remarked another legal giant wishing anonymity.
As the grapevine goes, the judges who passed the order hold a very respectable and honest reputation. The High Court in 2020 had taken suo moto cognizance of the conditions arising out of the covid-19 pandemic in the State of U.P. and have been passing regular orders in the matter besides taking a regular report from the local administration about the state government's planning and implementation to combat the spread of virus and remedial steps.
If the SC had supported the Allahabad high court it would have been a big blow to the state as well as the central government headed by the same party at both the places, said a senior lawyer of the high court with nearly five decades of legal practice. And if the UP government had imposed a lockdown on its own, it would have seen people questioning the central governments decision of not imposing a national lockdown even when daily deaths are surging, people are dying at hospitals gates, in vehicles with wide spread shortage of several life saving drugs, oxygen cylinders, ventilators and beds.
What more to say, the nation has witnessed on channels and clips on social media horrifying scenes of wailing mothers, sisters and brothers urging doctors and officials to render help by saving their dying patients but all their cries were of no avail. That will also question the UP governments act of holding the panchayat elections that saw risking of lives of thousands of teachers, government employees as well as voters.
A large number of them, reportedly came up with covid 19 symptoms. Social distancing and masks were no where to be seen with blatant violation of all established covid 19 guide lines. Those who are entrusted with the responsibility of saving lives of citizens either looked dumb founded or expressed their helplessness.
The high court in view of ongoing killer wave unleashed by Covid 19 that is leaving a trail of daily deaths, had stepped up to order one weeks lockdown in the hope that this temporary closure would probably lessen deaths and provide some respite to doctors and paramedical staff that had been relentlessly working day and night in their efforts to bring respite to those infected by the virus which has no definite cure as of now. All treatment is symptomatic.
Within an hour or two of the high court order, the UP government bounced back by declaring it would not abide by this order and would file SLP with the supreme court. And now after getting the SC order in their favour, an order that came without a single minutes delay, the UP government after sensing the mood of the populous and their folly is trying to make up it's image by declaring week end lockdown.
The other day when the high court had issued an order more or less the same the UP government refused to abide. This refusal had sent the common man into a tizzy. He had started wondering as to what had gone wrong in the country where the judiciary and the government were at logger heads. A debate also swept the city with people arguing as to who was right and who was wrong.
Barring staunch and blind BJP supporters, majority of well meaning citizens blame the party for deliberately overlooking the grave risk to the lives of millions by holding elections, rallies, the yearly magh mela in Prayagraj and the Haridwar Kumbh which incidentally was called off by religious men themselves after one of their gurus succumbed to Covid 19.
REPORT BY: B.K.Singh Senior Journalist for Politics.
PICTURE COURTESY: Anil Maurya Senior Photo Journalist.