By: M.S.Yatnatti: Editor and Video Journalist Bangaluru: Prime Minister Narendra Modi "Swachh Bharat Abhiyan” now extends to "Swachh judiciary Abhiyan”. Prime Minister Narendra Modi reportedly said on Sunday that "judges must not fear the reaction of five-star activists while discharging their "divine" duty of dispensing justice as per the Constitution and law.PM feels that "The judiciary is not as fearless today as it used to be 10 years back. Are five-star activists not driving the judiciary? Are they not attempting to do so? Judges fear what the reaction of five-star activists would be when they render justice as per law and as per Constitution. Modi made this scathing attack on judiciary head on at a conference of judges of the Supreme Court, chief justices of high courts and state chief ministers. ."Inaugurating the meet, Modi said, "It is not difficult to dispense justice as per Constitution and law. But while doing so, judges must differentiate between perception and fact.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi feeling might have been be based on research study on last ten years track record of "The judiciary” affected by "five-star activists where judges have given judicial verdicts not differentiated between perception and fact and given verdicts fearing what the reaction of "five-star activists” .This is an indiect admission by Prime Minister Narendra Modi that UPA was worst affected by "five-star activists” activism as Prime Minister Narendra Modi metined that "The judiciary is not as fearless today as it used to be 10 years back. .
The PM also said other organs of governance -legislature and executive -had pronounced checks and balances. Such a system was not strong in the judiciary. He said without such a system, "the DNA of the judiciary could go bad and hit the supreme faith of commoners in the courts"."We as representatives of people are subjected to intense scrutiny by media 24x7.News which once found it difficult to get into gossip columns is today's breaking news. Apart from media scrutiny , there are institutional checks like Election Commission, RTI and soon the Lokpal. These are necessary to keep us on the right track," Modi said"Judges do not have that privilege.You don't even hear criticism. Those who are given death sentence also come out and say they have faith in judiciary . That is because judiciary through its tradition and character has created immense faith in the common people. This faith has evolved, not injected. But how do we keep it intact and make it more impressive?."Judiciary must have a strong internal check system, in which government and politicians should have absolutely no say whatsoever. If you do not put in that system, then there is a danger of the DNA going bad which would hit the faith people unconditionally repose in judiciary. Moreover, if legislature goes wrong, it can be corrected by judiciary. What will happen if judiciary goes wrong? There will be nothing left," the PM said.
After legitimate criticism, it's time to pass the Judicial Standards and Accountability Bill and create institutional checks on judiciary .Prime Minister Narendra Modi's observation that "five-star activists" are a hindrance to judicial functioning unduly interferes with that institution's independence Modi, however, cannot be faulted for suggesting that the judiciary must evolve a mechanism for self-assessment and introspection, especially at a time when the National Judicial Appointments Commission will soon replace the collegium system of appointing judges to the Supreme Court and higher courts.It is noteworthy that civil society activists and social advocacy groups have been pursuing efforts to check executive high-handedness or arbitrary actions of five-star politicians. It cannot be over-emphasized that judicial decisions should solely be based on evidence and law and not be influenced by what Modi calls perception. What the Modi government must do forthwith is reintroduce the Judicial Standards and Accountability Bill, 2010 which will complement NJAC. This would lay down enforceable standards of conduct for judges, pave the way for greater accountability and probity among them and create mechanisms for punishing errant men in black robes. But the higher judiciary too must formulate and communicate standards by which their performance may properly be judged. This is something the public and other branches of government do have a right to expect from the judiciary.
RTI can also be used for clean the judicial system: THE RIGHT TO INFORMATION ACT, 2005 is an Act to provide for setting out the practical regime of right to information for citizens to secure access to information under the control of public authorities, in order to promote transparency and accountability in the working of every public authority.RTI Act provides transparency under Section 3 and4(1) (a) (b) (c) and 2(f) of RTI Act 2005 and accountability under 4(1) (d) RTI Act 2005 as the PA will create information; or to interpret information; or to solve the problems raised by the applicants under the system and procedure as per listed Acts and rules regulations listed under 4(1) (a) (b) (c) every day and that can be cross cheeked by applicant by asking reasons under 4(1) (d) by the affected person and copy of the same can be given to any applicant under 2( f)of RTI Act .RTI is a total problem solving mechanism and not just record providing tool.RTI will provide transparency under4(1) (a) (b) (c)and 2(f) of RTI Act2005 every day and Accountability can be ensured under 4(1) (a) (b) (c) (d) and 2(f) of RTI Act 2005 and this will reduces the corruption in every public authority . RTI Act is an Act to provide for setting out the practical regime of right to information for citizens to secure access to information under the control of public authorities, in order to promote transparency and accountability in the working of every public authority. The information under RTI Act is defined in, Section 2(f) of the RTI Act, which defines "information" under this Act, unless the context otherwise requires,- .(f) "information" means any material in any form, including records, documents, memos, e- mails, opinions, advices, press releases, circulars, orders, logbooks, contracts, reports, papers, samples, models, data material held in any electronic form and information relating to any private body which can be accessed by a public authority under any other law for the time being in force;". This act can be called as the "law of transparency and accountability” which acts as the citizen's weapon to question and get information related to the government's functioning so that they can analyze its performance, and act accordingly.
Information is essential for the efficient working of journalists and thus, the Right to Information (RTI) Act is one of the most useful legislations for a journalist. The RTI Act has two basic divisions the first requiring public officials to suo moto publish information pertaining to their departments and the second enabling the public to access information from a public office. The official documentary proof can be obtained by simply filing an application with a fee of Rs. 10.Under Section 2 (j) (ii) of the Act, the applicant can ask for certified copies of the documents or records. This certified copy of the document giving information can be admitted in the Court as Secondary Evidence. Note that under the RTI Act, the right to information includes the right to inspection of work, documents and records; taking notes, extracts or certified copies of documents or records; and taking certified samples of material held by the public authority or held under the control of the public authority. A citizen has a right to obtain information from a public authority in any relevant form including in the form of diskettes, floppies, tapes, video cassettes or in any other electronic mode or through print-outs provided such information is already stored in a computer or in any other device from which the information may be e-mailed or transferred to diskettes etc.RTI, one of the few weapons the common man has in his fight against the high and mighty, citizens haveunlimited powers under RTI Act 2005.Every PA must understand that "information" is not created in "Paraloka” or "Swargaloka” or in "CIC "or "SIC” which will be given by PA under Section 2(f) of the RTI Act.It is PA which creates the information every day 4(1) (a) (b) (c) and the "information" inany form, including records, documents, memos, e- mails, opinions, advices, press releases, circulars, orders, logbooks, contracts, reports, papers, samples, models, data material held in any electronic form need to be created as per 4(1) (a) (b) (c) reasons under 4(1) (a) (b) (c) (d) need to be given by PA to the affected person and copy of the same can be given to any applicant under 2( f)of RTI Act .The PA should be forced to function and create information strictly as per under 4(1) (a) (b) (c) on the applications and request of public and provide it under 2(f) of RTI Act and information should not be incomplete misleading and falseand public is free to check accountability under 4(1) (d) RTI Act 2005.The Right to Information (RTI) Act is one of the most important tools that can empower the common man, it had become imperative to fight against corruption for the effective functioning of the three pillars of democracy -- legislature, executive and judiciary. The three pillars of democracy had been included in the ambit of the RTI Act and people should make use of the provisions of the Act to bring down corruption. There was a need to create awareness among people on the wide range of powers enshrined in the RTI Act. The educated sections of society must take active part in the fight against injustice and use the provisions of the RTI Act to protect the rights of the people.