The Error of ‘Judgement’

The disillusionment with the true nature of the Indian judiciary is appalling

The Supreme Court of India’s judgment in Zakia Ahsan Jafri v State of Gujarat (2022) runs into over 450 pages, with 150 pages of “annexures” alone. Without the full context, one might imagine it to be a judgment of acquittal coming after a full trial of the then chief minister of Gujarat and the current Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the present home minister in the central government Amit Shah. Unfortunately, it is not. It is, perversely, marshalling all the facts and evidence to show why these two political leaders in question need not stand trial for any offences. It is the same exercise that the Court undertook in dismissing the need to investigate the circumstances of the death of Judge Brijgopal Harkishan Loya (Tehseen Poonawalla v Union of India [2018]). The petition, in the Loya case, as also in Jafri’s case, was to initiate the investigation rather than deliver a finding of guilt. Instead, the Court felt the need, in both cases, to go out and make a case for the innocence of the potential accused.

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