There is no system to punish the judges who pronounce judgements influenced by their surreptitious links with politicians rather than any judicial reasoning.
By Rakesh Raman
A slew of opposition parties have openly denounced the recent Supreme Court decision upholding amendments made in 2019 to the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
Calling it a “dangerous judgement,” 17 opposition party leaders have signed an open letter to complain that the verdict will give more arbitrary powers to agencies such as the Enforcement Directorate (ED).
The letter is signed by the representatives of the Congress, Trinamool Congress, DMK, Aam Aadmi Party, CPI(M), Samajwadi Party, and the RJD, among others.
The Supreme Court judgement of July 27 has upheld the stringent provisions of the PMLA, 2002, to deprive citizens of their fundamental rights and allow the government to terrorize its opponents through the ED.
A Supreme Court bench headed by Justice A. M. Khanwilkar endorsed the powers of the ED under the PMLA to arrest and attach the property of the accused and held that these powers are constitutional under the law and do not suffer from arbitrariness.
However, legal experts disagree. “The Supreme Court order upholding PMLA amendments has major flaws,” said a former Supreme Court judge Madan B. Lokur.
In a video interview of August 1 with journalist Karan Thapar, he said the issue deserved more serious consideration and should have been looked at in a larger context by a larger bench.
As it is increasingly being observed that the Supreme Court and high court judges submissively accept the despotic decisions of the government headed by prime minister (PM) Narendra Modi, Justice Lokur indicated that the top court is colluding with the government.
“It (the Supreme Court) seems to be accepting what the executive (government) wants it to accept. The impression has been created that the court is partial to the government,” Justice Lokur said.
Supreme Court judge Justice A.M. Khanwilkar who upheld the PMLA amendments retired on July 29. But before his retirement, the pliant judge pronounced a number of decisions to please his supreme leader PM Modi. A detailed analysis of his judgements was published on July 29 by The Wire news service.
Now it appears that the Supreme Court of India judges are scared of the ruling politicians who virtually control them. When the case is against the government politicians or others connected with the politicians, the judges do not take any decision that may displease their government bosses.
In the past, multiple cases have been either ignored by the Supreme Court arbitrarily or the judgments have gone in favour of the Modi government. These cases include Ayodhya temple case, Rafale corruption case, electronic voting machines (EVM) fraud case, PM-CARES Fund case, Article 370 case on Kashmir, Judge Loya death case, Gujarat riots case, Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) case, electoral bonds case, judicial corruption case, sextortion case of former Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, environmental crime case, Pegasus spyware case, and a number of other cases which still await justice.
Thus, the Supreme Court of India has lost its credibility and relevance. If you evaluate the Supreme Court judgements (involving the Modi government or its supporters) through an Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based expert system, you will find that almost all the judgments or delays are biased in favour of the government.
But there is no system to punish the judges who pronounce judgements influenced by their surreptitious links with politicians rather than any judicial reasoning.
While the Modi government is working in an autocratic manner and there is no political opposition to challenge Modi and his government, Modi is not being held accountable for his misdemeanours.
Although the opposition parties have decided to file a review petition in the Supreme Court to challenge the PMLA verdict, they are not expected to get a favourable decision.
17 Opposition parties, including TMC & AAP, plus one independent Rajya Sabha MP, have signed a joint statement expressing deep apprehensions on long-term implications of the recent Supreme Court judgement upholding amendments to PMLA,2002 and called for its review. The statement: pic.twitter.com/vmhtxRHAnl
— Jairam Ramesh (@Jairam_Ramesh) August 3, 2022
In the past few months, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has aggressively pursued money-laundering cases against a large number of leaders in the opposition political parties.
The opposition leaders assert that by misusing the police and investigative agencies, the government has indulged in political vendetta of the worst kind to target Modi’s political opponents in a mischievous and malicious manner.
They also condemn the decisions of the Supreme Court. “We are also very disappointed that the highest judicial authority, invited to give an independent verdict on the lack of checks and balances in the Act (PMLA), has virtually reproduced arguments given by the executive in support of draconian amendments,” the opposition leaders said in their letter of August 2.
By Rakesh Raman, who is a national award-winning journalist and social activist. He is the founder of a humanitarian organization RMN Foundation which is working in diverse areas to help the disadvantaged and distressed people in the society.
He has also launched the “Power Play: Lok Sabha Election 2024 in India” editorial section to cover the news, events, and other developments related to the 2024 election.
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