Saturday, May 23, 2009

Law Minister

I was disappointed to hear that Mr. Bharadwaj will be sworn in again as a Minister. Hopefully he will not be given the Law Ministry. One of the UPA's government major failures in the last term has been the dismal performance of the Law Ministry. Some of the key failures are

1. No major initiative in speeding up the justice delivery system, despite several proposals. Although the NDA government also had several failures on this count, one of the few things they can be credited with is the establishment of fast track courts and the CPC Amendment.

2. The failure of the criminal justice system to render justice came into spotlight in several cases, but no major initiatives was taken to reform the system

3.Mr. Bharadwaj played a key role in the appointment of an Attorney General who was a spectacular failure by all accounts. Not only Mr Banerjee did not appear in any leading cases, he gave an allegedly "collusive opinion" in the Quattorochi episode. Mr Dhavan was right in pointing out that if action is taken is taken on the basis of the law officer's opinion, such opinion should be published.

4. Interference in the functioning of investigating agencies.

5. There is justifiable basis to question the integrity of the Law Minister when a Law Officer specifically sent to defreeze the accounts of a person who has been escaping from Indian justice system.

    Indian justice delivery system needs a structural reform and for that to happen we need a Law Minister who has the experience, capability and the vision. Sadly Mr. Bharadwaj was found wanting on all counts.

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