An open letter to Honorable Law Minister Shri Veerappa Moily-Bhopal Gas Verdict
This is wrt the news article below.
People died: 15000
Years of trial: 26 years
Punishment: Two years in prison for causing death due to negligence
Status: all released on bail
A meaningless judgment which gives no justice to victims rather than the end result puts salt on the wound of the harassed and tortured victims.
Indian judiciary is designed in such a way that it will torture both (falsely accused persons and needy victims)
Sir, Where are the much talked about judicial reforms?
If the trial of a case, where 15000 people died and which attracted worldwide attention, takes 26 years then you can imagine the plight of the ordinary citizens of this country.
Sir, we have heard many news through the media in which they have quoted you as saying below.
1) Divorce cases will be completed in one year. Sir you yourself are a lawyer. For your information, In Bangalore Family court more than 15000 cases are pending trial. A typical case of divorce takes 5-6 years in the trial court then obviously the party who lose case goes to High court then Supreme Court. By the time divorce is granted both the parties are at the verge of dying. The only reason I to court for my cases on “my date” is to get “next date”. I console myself in the court hall after looking at hundreds of people who are also waiting there to get “next date”. Sir, Only work which our courts are doing is to give “next date”. Even most of the time the arguments which are happening in the court is wrt to what should be the “next date”? Judges are so much overloaded with cases that they are struggling to even give “next date” as both parties normally do high pitch arguments to get “next date” which is suitable to them.
2) We heard through the media that 5000 cores have been allocated for judicial reforms to finish all cases by 2012. I am running around the corridors of court from 2006 and I can only see that crowd of litigants in the corridors of court is increasing much faster than even “Kumbh Mela” crowd. The crowd in the corridors of the court is swelling so fast that soon time will come when we need to keep fire tenders, water tanks etc ready in the court premises in case of any stampede like situation. Sir, the scene inside the Magistrate Court’s is so pathetic that Litigants feel Jail is a better place than running around the corridors of the court. We have been hearing very frequently that accused are throwing sleepers at the Judges. I feel all this is due the frustration due to an insensitive and rotten system.
3) We also heard that you had said child custody cases will be finished in 6 months. Sir for your information by the time notice is issued and the opposite party file objection itself more than 6 month happens in Bangalore. We file child custody application for our “minor” children and by the time the lower court decides the matter and then high court and then Supreme Court, our children becomes “major” are of marriageable age and the “Child Custody” application becomes meaningless. We struggle long years to get some order wrt the visitation but by the time order is passed our children would have forgotten us.
4) We also heard through the media that you have promised to make all the existing laws in the country to be “Gender Neutral” but we are also hearing through the media about the proposed “Sexual harassment bill” where only a women can file a complaint. I also filed a RTI application seeking certain information from your ministry but did not receive any reply. And Sir, what about the Domestic Violence Act where only “a young married wife” can file a complaint. I hope you will fulfill your promise and make Domestic Violence Act “Gender Neutral”.
Sir, As per Supreme Court website below are the shocking statistics.
Number of case pending in various courts in India:
· Supreme Court : 55,791
· High Courts : 40,49,649
· Trial Courts : 2,72,38,782
These numbers are increasing at a very healthy rate.
As per a report from Delhi High court, it is so behind in its work that it could take up to 466 years to clear the enormous backlog.
Sir as an ordinary citizen of this country I feel now time has come to for the Law Ministry to stop making any fresh “Promise” rather now the time is to implement the past “Promises”. I wrote this open letter to remind you of the past promises and also the sufferings and harassment of litigants.
The Bhopal Gas victims have only received Humiliation, injustice, harassment and torture due to our inefficient judiciary. I hope that this case will act as a catalyst for your ministry to stop making any further “Promise” before completing past “Promise”.
President, Family Harmony Society