Over the last few years it is the perception of the common man that judicial standards had been dithering while the independence of this very vital organ clearly compromised.
In Goa we need to commend that Additional Sessions Judge for having had the spine to acquit Tarun Tejpal though the BJP wanted him convicted and punished hook or by crook.
The Judge has given a detailed reasoning in her 527 page judgment which now will be judged by the High court in view of the speedy appeal filed by the State. The Judge however did seriously err by mentioning the name and details of the victim girl in the judgment something which the law does not permit. This is a lapse on the part of the Judge but undoubtedly it was not intentional.
Any advocate who has appeared before this Judge will testify that she has been known to be a very upright, no nonsense Judge who never cows down to any pressure whatsoever. With a mind of her own and being extremely meticulous on every issue she is considered to be a very difficult Judge to deal with.
Within minutes of the order being passed by the Court acquitting Tarun J Tejpal, Goa’s Chief Minister Pramod Sawant very irresponsibly rushed in blurting that the judgment was bad and that an appeal was being filed. This statement by the Chief Minister without even reading the judgment is highly contumacious and a clear aspersion on the Court which would border on contempt. In the absence of the reasoned Judgment, it is inconceivable for the State to have “applied its mind” and come to any conclusion – one way or the other. The manner, in which the head of the State rushed to make such a comment, shows the typical mindset of the Government, to somehow fix anyone who dares cross the path of the BJP or seeks to expose its misdoings.
Some years ago then Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar had to tender an unconditional written apology to the Bombay High Court for his such contumacious statements against the Judiciary. Will it now be the turn of Chief Minister Pramod Sawant to also do so? Only time will tell.