Advent of Chandrachud era
DY Chandrachud, hope of the liberals, takes over as the 50th Chief Justice of India on Wednesday for a two-year tenure, longest in a decade, which is in contrast to his predecessor UU Lalit’s term of office for 74 days.
The Indian Express in its Editorial has lauded Justice Lalit for ensuring that at least one Constitution Bench sat throughout the year. Also, the challenge to the Constitution (103rd) Amendment that gave 10 per cent reservation on the ground of the economic backwardness was heard by a five-judge Constitution Bench. Yet, Justice Lalit remained a prisoner of the Collegium System, which failed to recommend names to fill up seven vacancies in the Supreme Court and 335 in the High Courts, opined the Noida-based daily.
Justice Chandrachud will have same set of challenges, which are repeated whenever a new Chief Justice of India takes office. Judicial reform cannot be a prisoner of the elitism of the Supreme Court judges. Only judiciary goes on vacations, unheard of in any of the profession. Creative judicial activism has taken a backseat, and the duty for enforcement of the Right to Life of the citizens has been abandoned — the case in point being Delhi where the people have been condemned to live in gas chamber, which should be a ground for the apex court to intervene and hand out exemplary lessons to the political and the executive class. The Indian Express hopes that the scholar-judge would leave a lasting imprint with reforms in judiciary.
No cash, cashless and full of cash
Cash in circulation is at record high, and the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party would want the people to forget the horrendous decision of the Narendra Modi-led government for the television announcement of demonetization with four hours of notice.
The BJP leaders have labored hard to count the gains of the reckless decision, but they have been digestible only to those who have blind faith in the leadership of the party. The economy is still paying a heavy cost of the decision, while cash in circulation is at a high of the decade.
The Economic Times in its Editorial has indulged in the BJP spokesperson’s ability test to do loud talk on the gains of demonetization – greater digital adoption in payments through wallets and UPI, share of cash in circulation in payment system falling to 20 per cent in FY2022. All such gains could have been made without resorting to falling to the compulsive urge to shock the people with television announcement. The business daily cuts a sorry figure by doing a BJP spokesperson’s job in its Editorial.
The Times of India has lamented the acquittal of the three death row convict in the 2012 Chhawla gangrape-murder case by the Supreme Court due to procedural lapses. The police did shoddy investigations, and the lower court as well as the High Court failed to take note of the lazy works of the investigating officers, which included as basic as cross-examination.
This is an old story – the police is not trained enough to carry out investigations, while they are too lazy in crime prevention also. The political class is too busy in the election management to pay attention to the deep malaise, which can be cured only by carving out investigation functions of the police to separate wings.