How would you react if I told you that the single entity/person who is responsible for upholding the law and the fear of whom strikes the death knell in the hearts of every criminal is a petty thief himself.
How would you be able to go to bed at night when the fear of the judiciary has disappeared from the hearts of every wrong-doer in the country?
Yes, I am talking about the scandal that CNN IBN brought to everybody’s notice today morning. This article on their website has more details about what I am talking about. CNN IBN recently filed an application under the Right to Information (RTI) Act to get details regarding the expenditure on judges’ official trips abroad. And the details that the application threw up are quite interesting to say the least.
While it has been no secret that the Indian bureaucrats almost always have their wives and a small personal entourage tagging along with them on almost every foreign trip of theirs, what is shocking is the fact that the Indian judges are no better than them, if anything they are far worse. Chief Justice KG Balakrishnan (who probably foresightedly wanted judges to be kept out of the purview of the RTI Act) has apparently spent around Rs 39 lakhs only in 2007. While this amount may seem warranted considering that he made 7 trips abroad, the fact that his wife travelled First class with him, and that he did not actually take “the shortest route” on almost all these trips makes it a little hard for anybody to believe that everything was quite on the up and up in this case.
And guess what our esteemed Union Law Minister HR Bhardwaj had to say when questioned about this – “They also need comfort, they also need to go out. Why should they be deprived of it?”. When questioned about Govt rules which prohibit wives from accompanying their husbands of official tours, his response was – “How can you deprive the wife? You are a woman. You should understand.” All this leaves me wondering what the Honorable Minister has done with his official trip budgets.
Now the scary part about all this is the fact that the people that we are talking about here are members of the judiciary. They are the ones supposed to be interpreting the laws, rules, statutes of the country, examining facts of cases where the law has been broken, and punishing people for that. If the so called “guardians of the law” themselves are gorging on taxpayers’ (regular people like you and me) money, then it leaves me wondering what the rest of the bureaucrats and politicians of the country are doing with your taxes and mine.
Comments anyone??? Or are we all just going to shut up and take this abuse just like we take everything else in our stride. I guess we are all just content coming into office, working our butts off, earning our paycheck, paying our taxes, and cribbing about all that is wrong with this country, all the while doing nothing about it. I include myself in this huge population of people, who are just so caught up in the rat-race that we don’t do anything about issues like this, other than crib and complain. But the fact that it disturbs me so much means that at least I still have some kind of social consciousness left in me, which makes me put up this post. What about the rest of you? What do you propose to do about things like these which are keeping India behind the rest of the world?