Person of the Month: The Indian Judiciary

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Person of the Month: The Indian Judiciary

Illustration: Akshita Monga

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he last couple of weeks have been pretty exciting. “Sanskari chief” Pahlaj Nihalani was sacked, the tragedy that is Game of Thrones took its last life of the year; two rich fighters got richer; a show featuring the Barney Stinson of 10-year-olds was taken off air; and something actually managed to disrupt Ganpati Visarjan in Mumbai for once (all it took was The Great Flood that extended to Bihar, Assam, and Houston… no big deal).

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Meanwhile, feeling a little left out of all the action was the least exciting institution in the country – the Judiciary. It’s almost as if the poor thing decided to hell with everybody; we’re going to be bigger and more spectacular than the Mayweather-McGregor fight AND Game of Thrones combined. In the couple of weeks, the Indian courts have been showing us who’s the boss, by passing three massive and positive judgments in less time than it took Arnab Goswami to go out and get wet in the rain.

The Supreme Court started things off by declaring the Islamic practice of triple talaq unconstitutional, an all-round popular decision. Then it came back for seconds by allowing us the Right to Privacy, even though that one uncle is staring out of his window into my house as I write this. Meanwhile, a special CBI court put a rapist-Godman behind bars for 20 years more than it took him to make his last movie. In the run-up to the same case, the Punjab and Haryana high court pulled up the Haryana government for not keeping a check on Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh’s minions who ruined the whole city of Panchkula with their whole brainwash situation.

The courts, in the span of a week, went from being the Johnny Lever of institutions – in the sense that no one really cared what it did – to being the Ryan Reynolds of institutions – considering everyone wanted to kiss the buildings on the mouth. And so, for this completely unexpected, but welcome change of events, we are proud to declare the Indian Judiciary our Person of the Month. Bring out your gavels and finish off your paperwork because this party is about to get #LITigated.

Meanwhile, Tusshar Kapoor and co will have to find someone else to make the butt of its jokes (quite literally).

The last superhero movie from Bollywood starred Jackie Shroff’s progeny as a Flying Jatt. Here’s a thought for the next one. How about a movie where the courts come together and take on the central and state governments with their amazing superpower – making a lot of sense? The government thought it was being awfully clever when it tied up with Mojo Jojo to come up with an Aadhar card/world-domination scheme, but the Supreme Court was one step ahead. This ruling effectively ends a gridlock, and allows a special bench to decide whether getting an Aadhar card is voluntary or not, leaving these cows in quite a sticky situation.

This will be the least of the cows’ worries though, once they find out that the ruling has some bearing on Maharashtra’s beef ban. Meanwhile, Tusshar Kapoor and co will have to find someone else to make the butt of its jokes (quite literally), considering the court has also now indicated that when there is a fundamental right to privacy, there cannot be a section against homosexuality. While it may not be set in stone yet, this judgment makes so much sense that the government is going to have to try real hard to not make any progress there.

A special CBI court was equally excited to join the Justice League. The court wasn’t afraid to go a little Conor McGregor on the Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh verdict, saying the Dera chief had acted like a wild beast that deserves no leniency. The Supreme Court, which at this point was in perfect tandem with the CBI court, saw this as a great opportunity to ask the Gujarat high court what the hell happened to the other alleged rapist-Godman who hasn’t been tried yet: Asaram Bapu. Bad time to be a spiritual leader who can’t keep it in his pants, I guess.

Only a couple of weeks ago the Supreme Court allowed a woman from Mumbai to abort a 26-week-old foetus since it had developed complications, and a couple of days ago the Kerala highcourt rejected bail to “superstar Dileep” once again, in a case involving the abduction and assault of a Malyalam actress. Honestly, I don’t think there’s been a better time to get into a serious legal battle with a sworn enemy.

But hey, before you go that far, or consider stealing my amazing superhero idea and selling it to Ram Gopal Varma on the sly, I suggest you wait just a couple of more days. There’s a sore need for a positive judgment that the Union government is adamant on not allowing – the criminalising of marital rape. Indian courts, a nation’s turning its lonely eyes to you, koo-koo-ka-choo.

Until then, I’m going to sleep happy, secure in the knowledge that at least one pillar of democracy is doing its job. And is doing it well.

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