When the courts of law are counted as 'heroes' of the year in an annual list, it may mean two things. One, the judiciary in the country is generally 'non-heroic', or non-performing. In other words, it was in the year 2011 only that the courts across the nation got their act together and showed a unique commitment to heroic judgments. Or two, that the courts in India went out of their way to ensure and sustain a certain rule of law in a fashion that the confidence of an average Indian is not lost in the idea of justice, more so in a year when the other institutions of the state seemed to flounder.
The author of this essay means the latter, for it is difficult to argue in favour of the former. I think we need to be clear about this at the outset. Courts in India are generally, and rightly so, perceived as incorrupt (if not incorruptible) institutions providing recourse to the 'aam aadmi' while s/he negotiates his or her way through the multiple injustices of economic disparity, communal politics, corruption, unequal social order and rampant violence that accompanies the current notions of 'development' and 'reform'.
In such a scenario, one expects the Supreme Court of the land to stand by the common Indian. And it did, especially on corruption. If it wasn't for the apex court, the 2G scam would not have gained the enormity and scale it achieved in 2011. When the Supreme Court
03:43 PM, Dec 15, 2011