With the 2G verdict absolving all the accused of criminal charges, the Indian judiciary system is now facing a backlash from the public. The instant reaction of calling our judiciary incompetent or corrupt, is again showing us the ignorant and gullible nature of the public.If anything, this decision should re-enforce our belief in our judiciary. And the court should be congratulated for doing their job right, unlike what other concerned institutions did in this case.
Media trials, and trials influenced by public opinions are a scary thing. Back in 2012, the CAG report on the 2G scam got the media and public in a frenzy. Even before the CBI filed the charge sheet, the media had already convicted the people allegedly involved, and people readily believed them. Then came the political force of the then opposition, and the public got on board with the anti-incumbency working in its full force. On top of that, there was the Supreme Court verdict to cancel the allocation of 2G spectrum. The SC case was on the grounds of the report of the CAG. And the verdict increased the credibility of the then CAG (even though the alleged loss of ₹1.75 lakh crore was reduced to about ₹37,000 crores in the CBI charge sheet.)
So the Patiala Court deserves credit for holding true to the principle of the justice system and that is to stick to the solid evidences and facts. “Public perception has no place in judicial proceedings,” said the trial court judge OP Saini. That’s the basic understanding everyone must have about the judiciary and this is the principle that a judicial system or any investigative/legal institution must uphold. Most of the time the public opinions are uninformed and emotionally motivated.
However, I think there’s no short cut to make sure the public acts mature enough for them to make informed opinions based solely on fact. The way the media is degrading, it seems unlikely that they would stop sensationalising news and pass opinions as facts. But the thing that should raise an alarm, is the investigative institutions getting influenced by the public perception and media reports. Though the credibility of the CBI is already hampered by the institution’s negligence and having biases towards their political bosses. This verdict has again highlighted the urgent need of changes that must happen in the way the CBI functions.
The Congress is using this verdict as a vindication of the UPA regime. But that is just another political campaigning tool. The verdict does say that there was no proof to establish criminality in the process of spectrum allocation, but that doesn’t absolve the UPA government of the accusations of corruption and providing benefits to corporate companies. The nexus between the government and business houses did become more prominent and it continues to grow exponentially in the present government as well. Seeing the verdict in a binary or oversimplifying things, will only cause an misinformed opinion. In a democracy, this sort of an attitude of the public hurts the nation’s interest.