Two Conventions were recently held in our country – Convention of the Bar Council and the ‘Save the Constitution, Save the Country’. Justice Swaminathan of the Madras High Court and Justice Suryakant of the Supreme Court presided over the Bar Council’s Convention, while Justice Gopala Gowda attended the latter Convention. Justice Swaminathan is a former Advocate associated with the RSS. He had also served as an Additional Solicitor General of the Union Government. He has handled many prominent portfolios and was appointed a Judge in 2014. After his appointment, he has been constantly criticised by the so-called progressives and intellectuals. His judgements, thoughts and speeches continue to be a subject of criticism for them.
1. The Bar Council Convention
1A. Various references from the Ramayan given by Justice Swaminathan and the criticism from the progressives : The 16th National Convention of the Bar Council was held from 26th to 28th December 2022 at Kurukshetra, Haryana. The speeches of Justice Swaminathan and Justice Suryakant became subjects of criticism. Justice Swaminathan commuted the sentence of Rajiv Gandhi’s killers after 33 years of imprisonment by referring to Valmiki’s Ramayan. The President and the Governor have the power to commute or pardon the sentences of prisoners. Along with this, if such a petition is filed, the Judge of the Supreme Court or High Court may also consider commuting a sentence.
1. Justice Swaminathan said that under Section 432 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, he had the powers to do so. Besides, Article 72 and 161 of the Constitution have their basis in Valmiki’s Ramayan, he said. He referred to the dialogue between Deity Hanuman and Mother Sita when Deity Hanuman came to rescue Her from Ravan who had taken Her to Lanka. In this conversation, Deity Hanuman says to Mother Sita, “Soon Shri Ramchandra will come with an army of monkeys and take You to Ayodhya after killing Ravan”. Mother Sita replies to Deity Hanuman, “There is not a single person in the world who has not made a mistake. Therefore, the feeling of revenge should be given up. You should also forgive those who have persecuted you”.
Justice Swaminathan said, “When the plea for commutation of the killers of Rajiv Gandhi came before me, the first thing I remembered was the dialogue between Mother Sita and Deity Hanuman from Valmiki’s Ramayan. That’s the reason I commuted the sentences of the accused”. This method of judgement and the sentences used were not tolerated by the progressives, and hence, their criticism.
2. While addressing the Bar Council, Justice Swaminathan said that he attended the first workshop in 1994. “At that time, there was a lot of terrorism in Kashmir. Terrorists had already driven the Hindus out of the Kashmir Valley. They were hiding in a mosque and attacking our security personnel. The security personnel were urging them to come out and surrender, but the terrorists threatened to blow up the mosque itself. This is how terrorists behave. Yet, on Eid, I ordered that biryani be given to the Muslim accused on the occasion of their festival”, he said.
3. While talking on the ‘Country’s need for an Indian system of justice’, he quoted Supreme Court Justice Abdul Nazir, who had explicitly said, “The Judicial system should be indigenous. Today’s Judicial system imitates the West and follows the path laid by them”. Justice Abdul Nazir was widely criticised for this statement. Justice Swaminathan was also criticised for mentioning Justice Nazir in his speech.
4. Some progressives and intellectuals wrote articles, including one titled, ‘Objection My Lord’. Referring to this, Justice Swaminathan said, “Today we have gathered here to say objection overruled”. ‘Objection My Lord’ is said when one of the two Advocates object to a sentence or action in a Court. If the objection is as per law, the Judge or Magistrate says ‘Objection sustained’. If it is not legitimate, they say ‘Objection overruled’. Justice Swaminathan said at the Convention – “We will overrule the objection of those who oppose the Indianised Judiciary”. His speech was strongly opposed by progressives and intellectuals.
1B. Justice Suryakant’s speech extolling Kautilya’s Arthashastra (Science of Material gain or Polity) makes the progressives cringe : Justice Suryakant, who was also present at the Convention, said, “The British did not give the Judiciary to India as it was already in operation even before the Mughals. The British created the Judiciary to enjoy undisputed power in India. They were not doing justice, but only passing judgements. Kautilya’s Arthashastra is the living Jurisprudence. It covers aspects such as good governance, Arthashastra, security for all.
“We were taught American Jurisprudence in college, which was very theoretical. Whereas Kautilya is incomparable. King Vikramaditya, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, the Peshwas and Ramshastri Prabhune are well-known examples; however, the progressives were enraged with the mention of Kautilya”, he said. Justice Suryakant actually praised the Constitution in his speech, but the progressives didn’t think this was true because he had first praised Kautilya’s Arthashastra.
2. Speeches of Judges at the ‘Save the Constitution, Save the Country’ Convention
Retired Supreme Court Justice Gopal Gowda, Supreme Court Senior Advocate Indira Jaisingh, Supreme Court Senior Advocate Raju Ramchandra and others were present at this Convention of journalists, advocates and intellectuals.
2A. Justice Gopal Gowda alleged that the Judiciary is favourable to the Union Government : Justice Gopal Gowda alleged that for the last 8 years, the Judiciary has been passing verdicts favourable to the Union Government. Supporting the allegations, he said, “When the case of Judge Loya’s death came to the Supreme Court, the Court did not accept the allegation that his suicide was due to his fear of Amit Shah. The Court also gave a clean chit to Modi in the Sahara/Birla case enquiry petitions”. Along with this, Justice Gowda expressed surprise about every verdict on Koregaon Bhima, purchase of Rafale fighter jets, Aadhaar Card, Demonetisation. Justice Gowda passed a major remark on the judgement in the Ram Janmabhoomi case. According to him, the Supreme Court passed an erroneous verdict in this case. This has led to a dispute over the Gyanvapi Masjid. Similarly, there are disputes about other places of worship too. All this is going on while the ‘Places of Religious Worship Act’ still exists. “For the past 8 years, there has been pressure on the investigative agencies recognised by the Constitution”, he added.
2B. Justice Gowda claimed religious fanatics are frightened : Speaking about the present judicial system, Justice Gowda said, “The judicial system 8 years ago was very good. We never heard CBI being called a caged parrot. Judges then worked selflessly, but today they are not doing so”. Justice Nagaratna said, “The decision against 4 senior judges in the Demonetisation case was not correct”. Justice Gowda praised him for this.
All this is going on while the ‘Places of Religious Worship Act’ is there. For the past 8 years, there has been pressure on investigative agencies empowered and recognised by the Constitution. Journalism is currently doing what the Government wants it to do. It is under a lot of pressure from the Government, Police and Administration. India is a multi-religious country. While this is the case, extraordinary fear has arisen among the Muslims.
2C. Justice Gowda’s irrational concern about religious fanatics : Speakers in this Convention said that the current system is dictatorial. Here are some examples of how unwarranted the Judges’ concern about religious fanatics is. Seeing the riots in Bengaluru, Delhi and many other cities in India, the entire country is watching how minority goons are killing Hindus. Justice Gowda does not see Hindus being killed by religious fanatics calling for ‘Sarr Tan Se Juda’ (Decapitation). He also cannot see the fact that even after the revocation of Articles 35 and 370 (Article giving special status to Jammu & Kashmir), Kashmiri Hindus could not return and live in their Homeland for the past 3 years. He does not see the deadly attacks carried out by religious fanatics during Hanuman Jayanti and Ram Navami festivals. Neither does he see the protests of religious fanatics on the ‘Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA)’, ‘Farmers Act’, protests in support of encroachment in Uttarakhand, Ayodhya verdict, Hijab verdict, Triple-talaq verdict. Instead, he feels that the Hindus are the aggressors and the minority is frightened.
2D. Advocate Indira Jaisingh urged Judges to pass their verdicts courageously : Advocate Indira Jaisingh said that Valmiki’s Ramayan being praised along with Kautilya’s Arthashastra is an attack on the Indian Constitution. “To change this state of affairs, Judges should also face the situation and pass verdicts courageously. It is important to save the Constitution in order to save the country”, she said to the Advocates.
The only thing apparent is that these so-called progressives feel the need to mention the verdicts of the Courts overseas. Judgements passed overseas should be mentioned in their verdicts here.
And, the references to Ramayan, Mahabharat, Vedas and Upanishads should be avoided in the Indian judicial system.
2E. Left-wing Judges and Advocates hold grudges against the Government of a pro-Hindu ideology : Justice Gowda added, ‘There is no rule of law at present, because the stand of the Supreme Court regarding the Gauri Lankesh murder case, the lack of justice for the accused in the Koregaon Bhima case, Siddique Kappan’s house arrest or imprisonment is wrong. On the other hand, the Supreme Court immediately grants bail to an arrested journalist related to the RSS in Mumbai. So, Advocates should save the Constitution, only then the country will be saved. Otherwise, it will not take long for India to be in the same situation as Pakistan and Afghanistan were in the first decade of the 21st Century’.
We have obtained fundamental rights by resisting the ‘Emergency’. Therefore, it should be seen how this country will remain fair. Raju Ramchandran, Senior Advocate of the Supreme Court was present at this Convention. He also spoke in support of Justice Gopal Gowda. Other speakers at the Convention said that after 2014, Indian Democracy forgot tolerance and liberalism. Not all people of various religious faiths can move freely in the country. It is dangerous how Justices Suryakant and Swaminathan openly rely on Ramayan and Kautilya’s Arthashastra. Today, the Union Government achieves what it wants through the CBI, ED, Governors, EC, Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG).
It is obvious that they do not agree with the Right-wing (Hindu ideology) Government and judgements. A strong organisation of Hindus is the only solution on these elements.
|| Shrikrishnarpanamastu ||
– H.H. (Advocate) Suresh Kulkarni, Bombay High Court. (14.1.2023)
The Judicial system should be indigenous. Today’s system imitates the West and follows the path laid down by them !