The Supreme Court on Thursday said that India cannot have two separate legal systems, one for the rich and resourceful and those who wield political power and the other for “small men” without resources and capabilities to access justice. The Court had cancelled the bail granted to a Madhya Pradesh BSP MLA’s husband accused of killing Congress leader Devendra Chourasia.
The Court was hearing an appeal filed by petitioner against the Madhya Pradesh High Court’s order.
The bench of Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justice Hrishikesh Roy observed, “India cannot have two parallel legal systems, “one for the rich and the resourceful and those who wield political power and influence and the other for the small men without resources and capabilities to obtain justice or fight injustice.” The existence of a dual legal system will only chip away the legitimacy of the law. The duty also falls on the State machinery to be committed to the rule of law and demonstrate its ability and willingness to follow the rules it itself makes, for its actions to not transgress into the domain of “governmental lawlessness”.
The Apex Court also noted that the colonial mindset which pervades the treatment meted out to the district judiciary must change. It is only then that civil liberties for every stakeholder – be it the accused, the victims or civil society – will be meaningfully preserved in our trial courts which are the first line of defense for those who have been wronged.
“The Chief Justice of the High Court of Madhya Pradesh is requested to cause an enquiry to be made on the administrative side so that an appropriate decision in that regard is taken. Having regard to this direction we are not expressing any views on the report which has been submitted by the ADGP and STF, Bhopal. The enquiry as directed above should be concluded expeditiously and preferably within a period of one month from the date of the receipt of a certified copy of this judgment.” reads the judgment.