Special column by Vijay Panjwani, Senior Advocate Supreme Court India.
The Hon’ble Supreme Court has made a huge contribution to strengthening parliamentary democracy, by keeping the executive in check, and the election Commission on its toes thus ensuring elections- fair and timely.
Supreme Court would soon hear two important issues to curb defections by removing loopholes in the 10th Schedule Constitution of India. The other issue relates to executive power to implement schemes in health, education, sports, direct benefit transfer of funds to the lowest persons in society, waiver of business loans, and writing off loans taken by big industrialists. Supreme Court is also a source of law.
Article 19 Fundamental Right to travel was expanded to read travel abroad. The Court defined State to include all government companies, govt bodies, and organisations with a heavy presence of government.
Bail Or Jail was explained to mean bail usually jail in exceptional cases in which proceedings are pending and there is no conviction. In the next 25 years, women in both domestic work and outside work and their relationship with working men have to be sorted.
There are glaring inequalities at home and in the workplace. At the bottom is domestic work, it is domestic women who are thrashed and taunted for not contributing to the housing budget. Electronics and the internet are a big field full of legal challenges. Imagine there is no Crypto Currency law and cases of cheating are piling up in criminal courts.
This cryptocurrency is earned & spent on the internet. It’s not physical. Victims of fraud & cheating expect courts to find a way out. Thus making courts a major source of law, well before parliament brings a Bill on cryptocurrency. The courts in India have kept pace with the aspirations of the people and enjoy great trust & confidence.
Next 25 years environmental issues would increase by leaps because western countries would shift industrial production from China to India. Courts would constantly monitor Space, Air, Forests, Ecology, Animals, Minerals both major & minor, soil, agriculture; Water in lakes, rivers, sea and the Indian Ocean. NGT is to play a conciliatory mature role to ensure compliance-based industrialisation. Fines and jail are not smart ways to mend habits.
Assessing damages of harm to the environment and calculating cost incurred, destruction cost making up actual damages, pecuniary damages and future damages — all of these to be considered.
Lastly, issues relating to establishing an Appellate Jurisdiction court below the Supreme Court Constitutional Court, increasing strength, the retirement age of Hon’ble Judges, and fixed tenure of a minimum of two years for CJI remain to be resolved.