Supreme Court Chief Justice S.H. Kapadia said on the occasion of India’s 64th Independence Day Sunday that “institutional morality and integrity” must be brought back to fight the deep-rooted problem of corruption.
“Corruption is a problem we have to face and be it the Supreme Court or high courts or any other constitutional authority, the institutional morality and integrity has to be brought back if it is not there,” Justice Kapadia said.
He was speaking at a function organised by the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) to celebrate Independence Day at Supreme Court. He said despite talk of inclusive growth, there was a huge disparity between the rich and the poor and it was increasing.
It was a great paradox that while on one hand India is counted as one of the fastest growing economies, yet on the other hand it was the diabetic and tuberculosis capital of the world. On the human development index, India stood at the 134th position and 400 million of the world’s most poor live in India, he said.
Justice Kapadia said human order must “breathe universal compassion and egalitarian beauty”.
In the next two years of his tenure, Kapadia said, “my dream is to prove that things can be achieved and goals realised even in the existing set-up.”
He said during this summer vacation the disposal of cases was double of what was cleared during the previous summer recess. He said last month the backlog came down by 1,000 cases.
SCBA president Ram Jethmalani said the national flag was the symbol of “internal freedom and external sovereignty”.
Jethmalani said the Independence Day function should not be an exercise in rituals but an occasion for introspection and critical self-assessment. “We must search for the glow of freedom on the faces of the poor, forgotten and destitute,” he said.
He said by “most conservative estimates two-and-a-half million children go to bed every night without a morsel of food in their stomachs. They only eat the lining of the stomach and intestines”.
“Most of the rich seem to be plain dacoits and politics has become a filthy stinking sewer,” he said. “There is no section of our polity where corruption has not been able to find a comfortable resting place. The guardians of law have become their protectors in crime.”
Pointing to stone-pelting by young boys on security forces in the Kashmir Valley, Jethmalani dared their leaders and instigators to try and throw stones themselves and face the music.