In a candid remark in open court, Supreme Court judge Justice A K Ganguly on February 11 said “no government wants a strong judiciary”. He made the observation while hearing the government explain the four-year gap between the filing of chargesheet in 2006 and starting of trial in 2010 in the Amar Singh phone-tapping case. Justice Ganguly had earlier disapproved of the government’s attitude of encouraging Central Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh despite the fact that the politician had been reprimanded by the SC for allegedly using influence to favour money lenders against the poor. Justice Ganguly had also asked the government why it had A Raja as telecom minister when his spectrum allocation was under CBI inquiry. Justice Ganguly referred the delay in Singh’s case as an ideal example of how an overworked judge has no choice but to lag on as the number of cases pile up.
The Magistrate Court is currently loaded with 1522 cases, including 146 CBI cases and 400-odd Delhi Police ones. “Strictly speaking, this case should have been over in three months,” the court said. “Everything is just on paper. Look at the distribution of judiciary,” the judges said, naming poor working conditions of judges as the chief cause for the monumental delay in disposing cases.