The article below was published with minor changes on News18 news portal at
On September 30, 1962, US President John F Kennedy sent 3000 federal troops to protect the lone black man James Meredith to study in the all white University of Mississippi where the racist Governor of the Mississippi state Ross Barnett himself stood with his Marshals blocking the entrance of Meredith to the University campus. Such was the determination of JFK to protect the right of one black man that he risked his next Presidential bid, which resulted in a violent clash with racist southern whites leaving 2 dead, 160 soldiers injured and 28 US Marshals wounded. Meredith was guarded twenty four hours a day by reserve US Marshals and army troops for protection of one black citizen to be educated as any other white citizen. This is oft quoted example of the state using its might to protect the right of one individual, the testimony of a strong democracy. When Teesta Setalvad was rejected bail by Gujarat High Court on July 1st Saturday, her lawyers reached out to the Honorable Supreme Court which was on vacation and that too a weekend. However, within hours of the Gujarat HC judgement, the SC constituted a 2 judge panel, which could not come to a decision and referred the case to Chief Justice DY Chandrachud who urgently constituted another 3 judge panel on the same night. This 3 judge panel deliberated and granted her interim bail for 8 days so that she can apply for bail in the Supreme Court. The honorable judges noted that Teesta Setalvad cannot be denied interim liberty even for one day, that she was a lady and entitled to special protection under section 437 of CrPC.
On the surface this looks like another towering example of the democratic institutions of India standing for the right of one individual. But is it so? Covering this news, Journalist Palki Sharma spoke about the state of Indian Judiciary which seems to be for the privileged, to the privileged and by the privileged. The comments of honorable Judges that no one can be denied justice for one day should be applied to those involved in 5 crore outstanding cases in Indian Judiciary and more than 4 lacs of undertrials waiting for justice. 70,000 of the 5 crore cases are pending in the Supreme Court alone. None other than President Murmu made a fervent appeal in the presence of the Chief Justice that the Indian Judiciary needed to address the issue. Even previous Law Minister Kiren Rijju while admitting the load cases of Judges is high, pointed out the judges work only 193 out of 365 days in a year, which is causing enormous problems for justice seekers. While PILs are signs of democracy where a common citizen can have access to higher Judiciary, when PIL of powerful NGO’s and activists (many funded by anti-India international organizations) supersede 70,000 pending cases for decades in Supreme Court alone, then it begs the question whether democracy is really served, unless perhaps the PIL is put in the queue along with those waiting for justice.
But there is a bigger issue at the heart of the Teesta Setalvad case. The Teesta Setalvad case is not a normal case. Her allegations against Narendra Modi who is current Prime Minister of India about his involvement during Gujarat riots when he was Chief Minister of the state resulted in an investigation by SC appointed SIT committee, that not only could find even a single charge made against Narendra Modi to be true but also found several serious wrong doings of Teesta Setalvad. Teesta is also accused of getting foreign funds such as the Ford Foundation, a known front of CIA which along with the USAID committed many atrocities around the world and has attempted regime changes in more than 60 countries causing devastating consequences. Several India news media reported the CIA involvement in assasination of Indian Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Sastri and many Indian space and nuclear scientists. Teesta Setalvad co-accused RB Sree Kumar is the IPS officer (and AAP leader) who is accused of framing ISRO scientist Nambi Narayan along and his fellow scientists with fake espionage charges (believed to be at the behest of CIA) that stunted the advancement of space technology of the nation for more than a decade. The honorable Gujarat HC judge Nirzar Desai himself noted on Teesta bail application case as, ‘enlarging a person, who allegedly acted at the behest of a political party, and tomorrow situation may raise that some outside force may utilise and convince a person to make efforts in similar line causing danger to Nation or to particular state by adopting same modalities and, therefore, considering the totality of the fact and circumstances as also considering the fact that any such attempts may not take place in future, the bail application is required to be dismissed’. The judge also noted how giving bail to such individuals will blunt the progress of the nation because such individuals with deep connections will deepen and widen the communal polarization. This is more pertinent given the open threats of international criminals like Soros who publicly claimed that he has allocated 1 billion dollars to do regime change in India so that India can serve Western interests. These regime change operations are extremely sophisticated using a system of exploiting fault lines to create devastation in the target nation as well as awards to powerful members of that nation to influence them, such as for example, Harvard Global Leadership award to Honorable CJI Chandrachud. Harvard’s rabid anti-India activities are exhaustively covered in the prominent works such as ‘Snakes in the Ganga’.
It is not that the Honorable Supreme Court is not aware of the case and the observations of the state HC. The urgency and deliberations of the SC even while on vacation only proves the statements of the Honorable HC judge on the reach of people like Teesta Setalvad at the highest levels of Indian democracy that no common citizen have. At the heart of the issue is accountability and to whom. No democratic institution can be above the will of the people, its power has to be derived directly or indirectly from the citizens of the state. Much debate has been made about India’s collegium system of selecting Judges including several comments by the Vice President Jagdeep Dhankar (who himself was an advocate who practised constitutional law at Supreme Court) and the previous law minister Kiren Rijju. The parliament does not appoint itself, nor does the President or Prime Minister. They are directly or indirectly elected by the will of the people and their performance is evaluated and voted out by the collective will of the people every 5 years. There is simply no other democracy in the world where judges appoint themselves which resulted in a system where almost all judges in the higher echelons of Indian judiciary come from a handful of powerful families from either political or legal dynasties. Only in Indian democracy do we see a unique system of ‘Uncle Judges‘ where more than 30% of the state’s highest court judges have close relatives practising in the same courts. According to one report, 50% of HC judges and 30% SC judges are family members of those who served in higher judiciary. Perhaps only in India we see a threat of ‘contempt of court’ hangs high on any reasonable criticism of the judiciary. During his address on independence day in 2022 Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, ‘Unfortunately, the evil of nepotism in the political field has nurtured nepotism in every institution of India. It is engulfing many of our institutions. Because of this, the talent of my country suffers. The strength of my country suffers.”
Coming back to James Meredith versus Teesta Setalvad, it seems like while JFK is putting weight of his nation’s mighty institutions to protect the rights of one victim, our democratic institution (judiciary) seem to put the weight of its democracy to protect alleged criminal Teesta, who as honorable HC judge noted, ‘such people can pose danger to the nation itself’. This is not good news. India is at the cusp of its destiny to advance and become a superpower which threatens vested interests both internally and externally and it is time we fix our democratic institutions and collectively as a nation be extremely vigilant.