Let Ignorance Remain Bliss for Justice Katju
Justice Markandey Katju and Justice Abhay Thipsay have got eggs on their faces from the District Judge Sam Gooze of Westminster Court of London, who rebuked them for their ill-thought advise in the case of the fugitive Neerav Modi. These two gentlemen reposed more faith in the British Court than in the Indian Courts by advising that Modi could not get a fair trial in India. But now when they have got raps on their knuckles, they must think of improving the judiciary in India rather than playing to the gallery in a foreign land. One wonders how and why at all, persons like Katju were elevated as the judge of the High Court? He is a braggart by nature, uncouth by behaviour and indecent by habits, he was a publicity-hungry judge. Once he had to tender an unqualified apology to the three-judge- bench of Justices Ranjan Gogoi, UU Lalit and PC Pant when contempt of court proceedings was initiated against him. He has hardly delivered any judgement of any consequence to be cited as the precedent for future cases.
He claims that he is more popular in Pakistan than in India for his judgments replete with Urdu poetry and many other reasons. He is on record to have stayed the extradition of more than two hundred Pakistanis, who came to India on tourist Visa and overstayed in India with their relatives. Some of them got married in India, made families, and died in India. It was a common joke in those days that no Pakistani citizen could be sent back from Uttar Pradesh till Justice Katju was a judge in Allahabad High Court. The height of his perversion was limitless. Once he was making fun of a very senior lawyer in the Supreme Court by saying that ‘Mr Counsel when I was an Advocate in Allahabad, I used to come to the Supreme Court to listen to your argument but now as a Judge, I find them very frivolous’. The entire courtroom was taken back by his uncouth behaviour.
There is nothing wrong to subscribe to any political philosophy. After all, judges are also the part of the same society but when they have served the judiciary as the member of the Bench they cannot behave in an eccentric manner. Justice Thipsay is now a member of the Congress Party. His predilections as the Judge of the Bombay High Court were also known to everybody. Be that as it may, he has, as the former High Court judge is not expected to run down the judiciary of his own country vis-a-vis the foreign judiciary. Once, it has happened earlier also, when Jack Anderson of Union Carbide fled out of India, some money-spinning, the so-called great lawyers had suggested the Government of India file the cases of damages/ compensation for the victims of the Bhopal tragedy in the American court because they thought in that case victims would get more compensation, but they had no face to conceal when the American Court told them to file the case in any Indian court only.
There is no doubt, that the Indian judiciary suffers from many flaws as all is not hunkidory, but it does not mean that we should outsource our judicial system to other countries. The less said about Justice Katju, the better. He has said many times that 95 per cent of Indians are fools. When he was the Chairman of the Press Council of India, he used to say that 90 per cent of journalists were idiots. Nobody knows what yardstick he applies to know or fathom the depth of foolishness of others. Anyway, it is good that he is oblivious to the opinions that others hold about him. Let Ignorance remain Bliss for him.