Judiciary is said to be the watchdog in a democracy but the recent cases of graft in the judicial system force us to think about this question “Who will watch the watchdog?”. The cases also reinforce the all-compassing nature of graft which is a “genetic” attribute of all human beings. Accepting and providing bribe are the result of human greed and a means for some useless and incapable creatures to make money by unethical means. The government has come up with “The Judicial Standards and Accountability, 2010” and one can expect some changes to happen with the passing of this bill which also has provisions for removal of judges. Though commendable, such pieces of legislation are not going to help to root out corruption from this society unless we try to find the main reasons for such human behaviour. Many a times, the solution to the problem of systemic evils like corruption calls for a drastic restructuring of the system.
The undue importance given by the society for people who hold lots of money is one of the main reason which fuels the young and the old alike to accumulate wealth. In the process of doing so, boundaries of ‘bad acts’ are transgressed at will. Knowledge in arts or some other field, sincerity, honesty, hard work, philanthropic values, etc should have been placed above money by this society but unfortunately, this is not the case and one needs to find ways to reorder this structure in human perception.
The Bar Council of India in case of judges, Medical Council of India in case of doctors, Engineers association in case of engineers and such other professional bodies have to introduce stringent rules governing the ethical and professional conduct of professions. The government has to do the needful to provide these bodies with sufficient resources and power to enforce such rules.
Before I end, let me take this opportunity to caution that if you ever feel like speaking the truth, then speak at the right time else you may find yourself in jail :). This is the case of Congress MP from Kerala, Sudhakaran who suddenly felt like speaking the truth that he was witness to a Supreme court judge accepting 36 lakhs bribe in 1993. Cases have been booked against him on charges of “concealing design to commit offence punishable with imprisonment” and “intentional omission to give information of offence by persons bound to inform” under Sections 120 and 202 of the Indian Penal Code. Hats off to the Indian Penal Code which also has provisions to deal with people who speak the truth when it suits them.