From Citizens For Justice to Chief Justice of India – Restore our faith in the Judiciary

published on February 23, 2009
LETTER TO THE CHIEF JUSTICE OF INDIA

 

22nd February, 2009

 

To:

Hon’ble, The Chief Justice of India,
The Supreme Court of India, New Delhi,
Shri KG Balakrishnan.

 

Respected Mr. Chief Justice, Namaskar!

We the undersigned were present in Madras High Court, Court Hall 3 on the 17th February, 2009. We are the victims of the disgraceful events that took place on that day in court.

It is with great distrust and disbelief that we are watching the turn of events that have followed the happenings on February 17. It is almost as if February 17 never happened and the issue is only about police action in the High Court on the 19th February.

You, Respected Mr. Chief Justice must be aware that the order passed and signed by Respected Justices PK Mishra and K Chandru on Dr. Subramaniam Swamy’s case details in vivid language the violence unleashed by a section of lawyers against Dr. Swamy and other litigants and visitors in the court.

The goonda lawyers closed the doors, and then beat up the  Assistant Commissioner of Police Shri Khader Moideen and other policemen, shouted abusive and obscene slogans against the policemen and a particular Hindu community, forcibly evicted the police personnel from the court, shut the doors and started to beat up Dr. Swamy and other visitors and litigants in court.

I, Radha Rajan was beaten on the head by one lawyer and the others were physically threatened. Police men and women who managed to enter the court protected us from the violence and escorted us safely outside the court premises.  

It is therefore with deep distress that we the undersigned note the show-cause notice issued by the Madras High Court to the Commissioner of Police threatening “criminal contempt of court proceedings against officers and constables responsible for the February 19 violence that rocked the HC campus”. 

It is the considered view of the undersigned that the Madras High Court has swept aside the happenings of February 17 which alone caused the happenings on the 19th and has capitulated meekly to the organized and well-planned violence that this section of lawyers and their covert supporters have let loose across the state. The Supreme Court of India and the Madras High Court must realize that capitulating to organized violence by lawyers only encourages them to more violence and mayhem and sends the signal that ultimately groups and communities with the capacity to unleash violence can escape the clutches of the law and the law enforcing agencies with the full support of the polity and the Judiciary. 

A section of the lawyers of the Madras High Court have been repeatedly resorting to violence and harassment of not only police personnel but also ordinary people, shop owners and hoteliers in the vicinity of the Madras High Court. They have been emboldened only because neither the Polity nor the Judiciary has had the will to take cognizance of their mal conduct and proceed against them.

No one present in Court 3 on the 17th, the two Hon’ble judges nor the advocates could do anything to protect us from the murderous attack or evict the rampaging and obscenely abusive lawyers from the court. Under the circumstances it is unfortunate that the Madras High Court instead of holding these lawyers to account and punishing them in an exemplary manner which will act as a deterrent for the future should actually rally behind these criminals and instead send a show-cause notice to the police.

The police is the recognized law enforcing agency of the state and as important as the judiciary in a functioning democracy. In times of crisis it is in national interest for all pillars of democracy to function in harmony to restore peace and people’s faith in the government, administration and the judiciary. The ordinary, law abiding common man is safe only because of the police. Had the Madras Court invited the Director-General of Police and the Commissioner of Police for discussions and if they had issued a joint statement announcing measures to restore peace and confidence, we the undersigned would not have felt compelled to write to you, Respected Mr. Chief Justice of India. 

As responsible and law-abiding citizens we consider the show cause notice issued by the Madras High Court to the police to be importune and unfortunate. The Chief Justice of India and the Respected Acting Chief Justice of the Madras High Court must first deal summarily and in an exemplary manner with the criminal elements in the Bar before confronting the police, to inspire people’s confidence in the impartiality of the Indian judiciary to dispense justice. More importantly, the Supreme Court of India and the Madras High Court must be seen by we, the ordinary people of India, to be seen to be dispensing justice. 

The Judiciary holds a preeminent and sacred place in the nation’s democratic tradition and hierarchy. Democracy is best served when all pillars of democracy respect each other’s dignity, authority and sovereignty and repose faith in the commitment of every pillar to protect democracy which ultimately only means protecting the common man.

We the undersigned request the Chief Justice of India and the Madras High Court to take back the show-cause notice issued to the police and instead deal firmly with the lawyers guilty of triggering the whole tragic sequence of events on the 17th of February. Such a fair, impartial and exemplary action is called for considering that it is from this pool in the Bar that our future judges will emerge.

The Madras Bar is a cess-pool of lawlessness and violence because of a handful of lawyers not amenable to reason or law. We therefore plead with you respected Mr. Chief Justice to intervene in the matter,  and render us, the real victims of February 17 fair justice, by first punishing those guilty of having unleashed violence against us that day.

The Supreme Court of India on earlier occasions has taken suo motu action against alleged human rights violators. This is a clear case of human rights violation by a section of the lawyers inside the august court premises which was being presided over by a division bench comprising two eminent judges. We request you Sir, to take similar notice of our anguished letter, and take action to restore our faith in the judiciary.  

Respectfully,

R Ananthanarayanan, Hon. Secy., Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Puthucode Kendra,

K Vijayan, retd. Chief General Manager, E&M, South Eastern Coalfields, Ltd. Bilaspur, Madhaya Pradesh

BR Haran, Freelance Journalist,

Radha Rajan, editor www.vigilonline.com,

TR Ramesh, Manager, Citibank, Chennai,

Uma Anandan, Housewife.
 

Copy to Respected Acting Chief Justice of the Madras High Court, Hon’ble, Shri Mukhopadhyaya.

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