Justice Pasayat's recent public statement that "Terrorists have no human rights" - makes me cringe for cover. Our generation heard "Indira is India and India is Indira" statement of an Indira Gandhi stooge, Late D. K. Barua. I am reminded of that statement of this in 1975/76. It was a time when "Human rights” were suspended, including “habeous corpus rights". The result we know, already. There is a saying in Oriya which can be translated as: “A mother whose son was bitten by snake, is afraid of ropes.” No wonder, I am scared.
Even in America of 21st century news about misuse of position and kickbacks to judges,: is being unearthed. So if we give such power to judges in India, there is enough to fear. Because the checks and balances in the system are poorer, to say the least. It is so inefficient and under manned, that Indian court will take 466 years to clear its backlog, chief justice of India said recently, in a damning report.
One can't forget the killing of citizens by Narendra Modi's cops, senior police officers, who are now in jail on murder charges. They first killed innocent people, and then killed more innocent people to eliminate witnesses to their crimes.
The context thus is obviously more serious than the individual based politics of the 1970s. This is now in international media. Since globalization is the order of the day, should not we look for best practices else where?
Interestingly USA has just endured and passed through the Bush era (2000 to 2008), when Justice Pasayat's theory has been thoroughly tested. They failed miserably and measurably. This in borne by the fact that President Bush had the lowest public approval rating ever, since such rating have been recorded. Just last week I heard again President Obama state that evidences are now available that in the last 8 years, the rule of law and human rights have been, thoroughly violated. And public safety is not inversely but directly proportional to rule of law and human rights.
Justice Pasayat is our contemporary from a nearby locality of City of Cuttack, in India. Though I don't know him personally, he must have had the same experience growing up as me. He had a comparatively privileged background. But he too must have known the issues of our time.
Here is a quote from Voltaire (who with Russo fathered the French revolution and modern liberal thoughts). He states: "I totally disagree with what you say but I am ready to die for your right to make that statement". That was freedom of speech at it's best. As society advanced Universal Human Rights came as a more recent development. It was accepted by UN in 1948, as a result of much blood, sweat & tears. It was implemented in USA starting with President Carter, 20 years later. Can there be any exceptions? NO. Why not? Because, then how does the little guy David (an individual) fight the Goliath (the state)? During lots of research on many liberation movements - it has come out to light that lack of human rights actually fuels terrorism. Because Government of the day can give the dissidents a bad name and kill them. And without the necessary constitutional human rights requirements/protection, no one will ever know or be aware of such misuse of power. Interestingly the charges of gross human rights violations are against the most corrupt national governments of the world, which are famous for their social backwardness too. For example Myanmar, Iran & Afghanistan. Do we want to follow them? Heck NO!
I can't believe a supreme court justice of India, past it's Golden Jubilee year, said that publicly, without any caveat. It is so insane and inane.
Below is a scenario of what could be an outcome of such a policy, if it is taken seriously and implemented. What will happen is of far reaching, consequence.
Let us take a real example. We recently had a case where a RTI activist went to Indian Supreme Court and asked for declaration and publication of the assets of the Supreme Court Justices. This followed the recommendation by Chief Justice of India(CJI) for Justice Soumitra Sen of Kolkata high court of impeachment & dismissal. The Registrar of Supreme court instead of following the law, refused to provide the info, under the pretext that - the info is not in his office but in Supreme Court Chief Justice's(CJI) office. Now, there is no such office actually, so the activist went to challenge this charade, in the office of Chief Information Commissioner(CIC) of India. CIC opined that there is no difference between the two offices and so asked CJI to submit the info. And rightly so in my opinion. However, the CJI forwarded the case to Delhi High Court, which falls under it's own jurisdiction and asked them to decide the case. The prominent Citizen of India have protested and appealed to CJI to yield. The case is in the Delhi High Court. Let us assume that the CJI and PM are in collusion. (which is luckily and actually not the case.) GOI could arrest the person who submitted the RTI and rough him up. And if he does not still relent and stop pursuing the case, can book him falsely for possessions of illegal arms or liquor etc. And/or for dangerous liaison with the extremist groups, and keep him in jail indefinitely. No proof – nothing required, because Human Rights for terrorists, have been suspended by Justice Pasayat. Just Government's statement that he is a dangerous terrorist (an element undermining the democratic set up), would be enough. Because the judiciary and Government are in a collusion, this will be possible. Because as Justice Pasayat has stated - this man now has no human rights. What will happen to his children, friends and family? They would now come to the conclusion that since law does not take it's own course in the country, to get justice, they have to take the law in their own hands. Improbable now but possible when the advise of our erudite supreme court judge is followed by a pliant or a colluding Government. We have seen this happen frequently, before the separation of executive and Judicial branches. And the potency is toxic.
That is why I think Justice Pasayat, has probably been misquoted. Otherwise, he is like you and I are, unfit for the highest judicial honor, of being a supreme court judge of India.
1. Terrorists have no human rights: - Justice Pasayat: http://ibnlive.in.com/news/sc-judge-slams-human-rights-for-terrorists/83810-3.html
2. Need correct quote of Voltaire
3. US court house misuse of power for kick backs: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090211/ap_on_re_us/courthouse_kickbacks
4. Indian court will take 466 years to clear its backlog, chief justice says in damning report: http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/wire/sns-ap-as-india-delayed-justice,1,2555110.story
5. Universal Declaration of Human Rights: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_Declaration_of_Human_Rights
6. Sadhvi Pragya Thakur: http://www.rediff.com/news/2008/nov/01malegaon.htm?zcc=rl
7. Jailed murderer Gujarat Deputy Inspector General of Police, D. G. Vanzar & Deputy Superintendent of Police, N. K. Amin http://www.roguepolice.com/amin.htm & http://www.hindu.com/2007/05/05/stories/2007050508801200.htm
8. “Indira is India & India is Indira” - Dev Kanta Barua, Indian National Congress President(1975-77): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dev_Kant_Baruah
9. Impeachment of Soumitra Sen of Kolkata High court:: http://ibnlive.in.com/news/law-min-pushes-for-impeachment-of-calcutta-hc-judge/73101-3.html
10. Prominent Citizens appeal to CJI: http://www.hindu.com/2009/02/15/stories/2009021555021000.htm