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The Supreme Court’s decision in the disproportionate assets case might have sent shockwaves throughout Tamil Nadu, but it seems there was an unexpected aftershock that is now garnering attention from various quarters.
The 563 page judgment, penned by Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose, provided a detailed account of the facts and figures associated with the two-decade long case, ultimately holding late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa and her aide Sasikala Natarajan guilty.
But for those more poetically inclined, it is the brief afterword by Justice Amitava Roy that holds all the charm.
As readers and scribes alike tried to make head or tail of Justice Roy’s concurring judgment, many of them took to social media to express admiration, confusion and everything in between.
A Bar and Bench reader also had an interesting request.
Justice Roy’s five page supplement seems to be a crystallization of his agony at what he perceives to be the
“all-pervading pestilent presence of corruption almost in every walk of life, as if to rest reconciled to the octopoid stranglehold of this malaise with helpless awe.”
The judgment is a remarkable concoction of part rumination and part lamentation, with a dash of vindication thrown in for good measure. It describes corruption as a
“pernicious menace stemming from moral debasement of the culpables, [which] apart from destroying the sinews of the nation’s structural and moral set-up, forges an unfair advantage of the dishonest over the principled, widening as well the divide between the haves and have nots.”
He also waxes eloquent about the “all pervading pestilent presence of corruption”, “cancerous concoctions of corruption” and a “collective, committed and courageous turnaround” required to put an end to the “asphyxiating snare of this escalating venality”.
But that is not all. In a noteworthy end, Justice Roy makes an impassioned address that escapes the definition of political oration by a narrow margin.
“Every citizen has to be a partner in this sacrosanct mission, if we aspire for a stable, just and ideal social order as envisioned by our forefathers and fondly cherished by the numerous self-effacing crusaders of a free and independent Bharat, pledging their countless sacrifices and selfless commitments for such cause.”
Since this is the first instance where a judgment by Justice Roy has given a peek into his more aesthetic side, one is forced to wonder whether the short time spent by him sharing a Bench with Justice Misra, himself a connoisseur of the written word, might have had a lingering impact.
To further buttress this theory, it might be pertinent to note that the last time a judgment was talked about for this reason would be the defamation judgment penned by Justice Misra himself.
Read the full judgment below. (Justice Roy’s concurring opinion starts at page 565)