To infringe upon the privacy ofcitizens and convert the country into a surveillance state the government enacted Adhaar Act. There were atleast 30 challenges to the law in the apex court.The court gave the interim judgment prohibiting government from making it compulsory.The government didn’t listen and by the time the final judgement came had implemented over 50 centrally sponsored schemes besides dozens of state schemes using Adhaar, enrolling in its database a hundred crore people.
To abrogate Article 35-A and to rundown Article 370, the GOI passed the J&K reorganization Act.At present 18 petitions are pending before the Supreme court challenging government’s move. The court has not given any interim respite and hence the law is very much in place, furthering government’s agenda.
To criminalize Triple Talaq government brought Muslim women protection of rights on marriage law.At present 4 petitions are pending before the Supreme Court challenging government’s move.The court has not given any interim respite and hence the law is very much in place, furthering government’s agenda.
The government introduced Citizenship Amendment Bill in its previous term, which lapsed after it failed to pass the Upper House. They are planning to reintroduce the bill in the winter session. Given the majority it has been able to achieve since, the bill is sure to pass and would surely be once again, like the other similar discriminatory laws would land in court.The court is most likely not to give any interim respite and hence the law would be very much in place and by the time the judgement would come a lot of damage would have been done.
In case of Babri Masjid things may turn out the same. A judgement in favour of Muslims just in case would compel the government to overturn it through a legislative enactment, which would land the matter once again in court. Now given the sensitivity of the matter whether the court would put any immediate stay on any construction activity remains to be seen. For once the law is enacted no time would be lost before construction would start. Any delay and the construction of the temple would achieve irreversible milestones and create further legal hassles. In the event of the other possibility i.e the verdict being in favour of the Hindus, there is nothing stopping the temple from coming up at the disputed site.In both the cases, it will be a record low for Indian judiciary. Not for the government. Not for the people. But for the judiciary. And not for the first time indeed.That we never took notice of the falling credibility of the Supreme court is our own sin.
Recently, The Supreme court of India came under some strict scrutiny when the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights issued a statement criticizing the delay in adjudication of petitions raising fundamental rights violation in Kashmir. The UN watchdog in a scathing remark raised some serious issues of law that need to be answered by the Supreme Court of India. Itquestioned why the lockdown in Kashmir was not tested on grounds of reasonable restrictions even when it had been over 80 days since it came into effect. It states that the curtailment of fundamental rights of an entire people was not a necessary and proportionate response and questions the preventive detention of the entire Kashmir leadership without proper justification.The statement is also critical of the manner in which the law was passed without any consultation with the people of the state and on the basisof which the state has been reorganized. Not least for the supreme court it points out the violence committed by the security forces and highlights the adverse use of pellet guns.
If only the court was listening.
Md. Aariz Imam is a Jamia Millia Islamia alumni, freelancing for citizen journalism portals reflecting upon the old and contemporary from the sub altern’s point of view .