Friday, March 07, 2008

Our CJ's blabbering!!

There are many reasons to dislike our Chief Justice: For example his disconnected jurisprudence intervening in cases where he thinks fit without giving us reasons why he did it in this case and not the other one. His judgment finding the need for removal of permanent check points which is no lesser a national security issue than the Muttur High Security Zone case wherein he warned the petitioners not to bring politically charged matters of that nature to court is a classic example. Wasn't the issue of permanent check point also a politically charged case involving an issue of National Security? He has converted the court to a mediation board or a Panchayat sort of where he tries to bring cases that come to him to a 'settlement'. In the interests of speedier justice we are told.

But what propelled me to write this post is the speech that he delivered at the opening of the Consumer Court. The Chief Justice is quoted to have made the following 'observation':

“Now teachers are on sick leave. During our school days we were given six cuts for malingering. Now I am waiting for those teachers to come before me. I will give them a suitable punishment”

While it is wrong i believe for a Chief Justice to comment out of court in such a degrading manner the action being taken by the Teacher's union (The merits or demerits of the teachers action is irrelevant here) what is worrying is the Chief Justice's comment that he is 'waiting fr the matter to come to court'. Now a judge is supposed to hear a case and based on the arguments placed before him arrive at a judgment taking into consideration the interests of the parties and the society as a whole. Here is a Chief Justice (not some low court judge) who has already formed an opinion and is waiting to deliver that opinion on the parties involved in the case. What kind of justice is this? He has to the teachers effectively shut the doors of the supreme court not only on this issue but possible on any other issue they might bring. In legal academic jargon this is known as 'ex post facto rationalisation'.

As far as i know Judges of Superior courts all around the world usually tend to have a prepared speech (This is to avoid any 'slip of the tongue' mistakes) when they accept invitations to speak out of court. They go for selected occasions usually to deliver memorial orations. This is i would argue in the interests of the impartiality of the position they hold and a matter of public confidence in the duties that they carry out. Our Chief Justice like a politician is known to go for all sorts of functions for the stage and the garland. (there are those who seriously think that he might run for public office after he steps down :-). He is known to make very populist speeches. In this speech he condemns the privatisation of gas, argues for protectionism (wants to stop foreign imports. He's worried about tinned fish) all populist matters that you will expect politicians and not a Chief Justice to take on. (I am also a critique of him appearing on Buddhist TV. Agreed this is not a secular country. But shouldn't we expect that the Supreme Court and the Chief Justice at least be secular as a matter of tradition.)

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

People are free to appear on whatever television show they want to. If you don't like it, tough. Look at the US, their judiciary is divided into conservatives (Christian right wingers against abortion, homosexual marriage etc) and liberals. Sri Lanka is more secular than the US, at least we don't have a pledge of allegiance that requires everyone to say some shit like "one nation under God" and our money doesn't have "in God we trust" printed on it, and the President doesn't claim that God speaks to him (like George Bush)!

Anonymous said...

PS It's none of your fucking business what people get up to in their own time...if they want to appear on a Buddhist tv show, why the fuck should that concern you?

Keep your Hindu bigotry to yourself.

Right Student said...

An interesting post. I also agree with Acharya's point that the chief Justice tries to intervene in public matters, in unacceptable manners..He acts in such a way that discourages the general public to make complaints to the supreme court, rather he makes people lose hopes of expecting justice from the court.. But, at the same time, we need to realise that people are free to decide on making themselves secular. .and making themselves appear on a particular TV channel..!

Anonymous said...

WOW...! Keep it up Aachcharya...!

You used to write whatever you think right...
It is your right so leave the idiot comments aside!

-sara