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19th-Feb-2016

More political cases make judiciary more controversial

By MAINUL HOSEIN

The concern expressed by Chief Justice  Mr Surendra Kumar Sinha in urging the politicians and others  not to make controversial remarks against the judiciary should be heeded to. His anxiety is understandable and we all know how important it is for the justice system to keep undiluted public confidence in it.In order to save the sanctity of the judiciary the Chief Justice and his fellow judges have to do more than urging others for help. The judiciary has to be actively protected from others obstructing the judiciary from remaining above controversy. Every right thinking person has to do his share to uphold public faith in fair justice.The judiciary must not be allowed to be used as a political tool. It cannot avoid controversy when controversial political cases are brought before the court which need political handling. The decision on the political arrangement of election-time caretaker government is one such example. It has destroyed by a single majority of the judgement of the Appellate Division of Supreme Court the scope of free election for change of government.    Too many political cases have put the judiciary under heavy stress. The judiciary is not for doing politics. The opposition politics should be met politically. That is to how to show political leadership. The courts are flooded with criminal cases against politicians. The police attention is diverted from dangerous criminals. The consequence is that serious crimes are soaring alarmingly for the police to cope with. Killing has become so easy that even children are not spared. The people can only wonder what is happening in the country's justice system. The criminal justice system is overburdened because thousands of criminal cases of political nature are to be disposed of by the courts. The judiciary is thus pitched against power politicsAny responsible political leadership knows that violence is not politics. The politics is a special knowledge and skill to win public support and power to govern in an orderly way. Peace and national unity are the key words for sensible political leadership.By depending on police power for politics the government has not been able to make the country peaceful and safe. Terrorism like activities are on the rise. Unless the government is not totally blinded by the bureaucratic politics it should be too evident for the government to ignore. There is little respect for law even among the people in the government. Police have become too much politicised for its own good, and good of the people as law enforcers. In the past detention law was used to keep political opponents in confinement without resorting to court cases thereby the judiciary was kept out of politics. They were regarded as political prisoners. So there was no question of seeking bail from the court or facing police remand.This is not to say that politicians should get away with dangerous crimes. What we suggest is that crime and criminal cases must not be seen as politics.Unless we learn to make politics safe for decent and able people there will be no peace in the country and no justice. The politics will be in the hands of young thugs.We have to drive away bad politics with good politics unless we want bad politics to become worse and more violent.It is terribly shortsightedness for the government to remain in power by involving the judiciary to deal with politics. Instead of using the court cases use the detention law if confinement of politicians becomes a must.The judiciary also has to be saved from politicisation for influencing the judiciary for politics.  It is essential for the kind of politics we have that the judges do more to save the justice system than wishing the right thing for others to do. This is time for judicial activism and leadership. More than any others, the judges should be aware how the people like to see judiciary at its best to stop abuse of power for justice to prevail. The people are in search of leadership, they find nowhere.