"The Indian judiciary must accept Frankfurter, that frank and superlative U.S. Judge who wrote: “Judges as persons, or courts as institutions, are entitled to no greater immunity from criticism than other persons or institutions."In a recent order on the defamation cases against Tamil actress Khushboo, the Madras High Court refused to dismiss the 29 cases against her on the grounds that she had expressed not-so-flattering opinions against the judiciary, and that she had no reason to be aggrieved. Excuse me, but I thought I lived in a democracy? A person does not enjoy her fundamental right to constitutional remedy because she dared to say something against the courts, which are responsible for providing that remedy? In a democracy, I have an inalienable right to freedom of speech and expression. Nobody can take that away from me. The courts were, until now, the only neutral and non-partisan forum for justice. If the courts put themselves above the law, how can we trust them to protect the rights of normal people like you and me?
To its credit, India's legal system has managed to remain free from external influences for over 60 years. We cannot afford to let that change. Judges will only be more respected if they agree to subject themselves to the laws they are appointed to uphold. Judges are subject to law, not above it.