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Tuesday, October 4, 2022

‘Babudom’ symbolic of colonial mindset, says Delhi HC…and so is ‘milordship’, add citizens

The Delhi High Court, while noting the pendency of a farmer’s plea before the authorities for over three decades, said the “babudom” of the bureaucracy is symbolic of the colonial mindset, and a major obstacle.

“Today, India is celebrating the Amrit Kaal of 75 years of its independence, and marching ahead, shunning the shackles of servitude, and with fresh vigour and greater conviction to become a developed nation. The Babudom of the bureaucracy is symbolic of the colonial mindset, and a major obstacle to attainment of this goal. It is high time that the mindset is shunned away for good, and the people of this country are liberated from such carcinogenic tendencies and vestiges of the colonial past,” noted Justice Chandra Dhari Singh on Monday.

Dealing the plea of which the application was filed before the authorities way back in 1987, the court said: “Since then, 35 years have passed but no action, whatsoever, has been taken by the concerned officials till date. It was also noted on the previous date that it is disturbing that such an approach adopted by the concerned officers, and their failure to discharge their duty, has led to filing of a plethora of petitions before the High Courts across the country, thereby, adding to the pendency and backlog of cases as well as burdening the judiciary.”

“Despite the clear directions of this court, neither the application of the petitioner that has been pending for more than 3 decades has been decided, nor the concerned officials directed to remain present have bothered to be present before this Court,” the court said.

“This is despite the fact that counsel for the respondents intimated and even reminded them to remain present before this court. The said officials did not even take the pain to seek time for extension of the period prescribed nor any application has been filed for exemption from personal appearance. This clearly depicts the high-headedness of the officials namely the Vice-Chairman, DDA and Secretary, Land & Building Department,” the court said in its order.

“As long as the Rule of Law breathes in this land, so long will the following quote popularised by Lord Denning, and borrowed from the writings of Dr Thomas Fuller shall continue to echo: “Be ye never so high, the law is above you.”.. The orders passed by a constitutional court of this country being violated at the sweet will of the officials openly butcher the spirit of Rule of Law,” the court said.

The court is right in saying that our bureaucracy and police reflect vestiges of our colonial past with their paternalistic mai-baap attitude towards ordinary citizens. But the court also needs to look in the mirror and confronts its own colonial hangover.

Today, while crores of cases are stuck in judicial logjam, our higher judiciary prioritizes petitions and issues that are considered important by a select few – mostly elite lawyers and self-appointed public intellectuals. Legal proceedings use an idiom and language that is unintelligible to the vast majority, and sections of judiciary seem more concerned with winning approval of their counterparts in the Anglosphere rather than adjudicating as per Bharat’s norms and needs. Some judges seem to have taken on the civilizing mission mantle of the British colonizers. Hindus are discriminated against by denying them control of religious institutions and by repeated state and judicial interference in their Dharmic practices and traditions. Moreover, the collegium system introduced in 1993 has reduced the higher judiciary to an opaque left-liberal club.

(With IANS inputs)

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