Justices like PN Bhagwati have a big role in making the credibility of the justice system of the country in the public. He used to judge during such times when the country had to go through intense interfaith. Its spares also fall on them. But no one has ever doubted his intention and justice.
In the same way in the history of Indian history, Jahangir had given the right to play the bells of justice, in the same way, Justice Bhagwati opened the doors of justice to everyone. He advocated for the general public to knock on the door of the country’s highest court in public interest and which ultimately became the authority.
Bhagwati will be remembered for this reason
He had a clear view of making the system transparent and the right to freedom of expression. In the 1990’s, the lecture given on Dr. Rajendra Prasad on Aakashwani would be remembered for a long time. However, his biggest contribution to public interest petitions, which he defined. In their era, public courts increased the concept of quick justice.
The seventies and eighties were judicial activists in India. In this period, our courts made many big decisions in public interest. In December 1979, Kapila Hingorani filed a petition on the condition of the inmates under trial in the jails of Bihar. Due to this petition, 40,000 prisoners were released from prison in Bihar, whose cases were under consideration. It was the beginning of judicial activism of the courts.
In the case of SP Gupta v. the Indian Union in 1981, Justice Bhagwati was also a judge on the bench of seven judges. In addition to the other things he wrote in his decision, he wrote that this court will not wait for a formal petition to raise the matter in public interest, but if a person only writes one letter, then he will accept a petition in public interest.
This decision defines public interest litigation. The big thing is that in this system, hearing can be done without depositing huge judicial fees. Until the decade of the eighties, the doors of justice were open only for those who were affected by any public activity.
No third person could even go to court about the matter of public interest. At that time, judges like Justice PN Bhagwati and Justice VR Krishna Aiyar are credited with opening the doors of justice to everyone.
This was due to criticism
If Justice Bhagwati was praised for PIL and Lok Adalats, she had to face much criticism due to Indira Gandhi’s support for the Emergency and the support of her policies. In the ADM Jabalpur case of 1976, four members of the Supreme Court who rejected the habeas corpus petition were also a judge in that case. HR Khanna was the judge alone, who ruled against the government.
Bhagwati was accused of being inconsolable. In the Emergency, he praised Indira Gandhi, criticism after the Janata Party government was formed. And when Indira returned, she again praised him. Perhaps they did not seem too late to accept their mistake. In the habeas corpus of 1976, he accepted his mistake in 2011.
His views on the judicial system of the country were quite open. They were not in favor of the college system of appointment of judges. In response to an interview, he said, “I am not in favor of this.” I do not know the reality, but if you pay attention to the rumors then the judges who are kept in the college have a sense of worth. People are losing trust in the manner of appointment of judges. So, it has become necessary to change it.