HYDERABAD: “I have no fear and no shame in saying that revolution is the way forward to change the country. We also know that for initiating social change, the revolution would not come without violence,” said senior Supreme Court advocate Colin Gonsalves. His statements were met with resounding cheer from the audience.
He quickly added: “I will not pick up a gun or bomb; I will not incite violence; but I know that every successful revolution in the history has seen violence,” the advocate said, which was met with another round of applause. Gonsalves, who is also the co-founder of Human Rights Law Network (HRLN) recounted “stories of resistance from within the judiciary.”
He recalled the Nandini Sundar case where the Chhattisgarh government had allegedly given criminals money, guns and “the right to murder and right to rape”. “Nandini Sundar went to the Supreme Court and made a simple case that it was unconstitutional and illegal to set up a vigilante force.
It came before Justice Sudarshan Reddy, who had some background in the People’s Union for Civil Liberties. So it was easy for him to grasp what was happening in the area,” Gonsalves said. PUCL is a human rights body formed in 1976 by socialist leader Jayprakash Narayan. Quoting from Reddy’s judgement in the case, he said, “The real terrorism is the terrorism of mining companies.” He also slammed the apparent attempt of the Centre to “saffronise” the judiciary.
“The National Judicial Accountability Bill would have opened the way for Centre to appoint judges. Had the act come through, tens and thousands of saffron judges would have killed the judiciary.” The SC unanimously voted the legislation out. Gonsalves alleged that Centre wanted to saffronise the judiciary to overturn the Keshav Bharati case.