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Core of democracy

An independent judiciary is the core of democracy. However, successive rulers have been misinterpreting it to fulfil their personal interests. A free society depends upon a judiciary that is loyal to the law, for courts play a pivotal role in the fight for equality and freedom. A responsible government always respects the verdicts delivered by the apex court. But this is not the case in this country. The government formed after February 1 move has acted against the orders of the Supreme Court, especially on habeas corpus petitions. The government has defied the orders of the SC to the extent of what could be termed "a mere mockery of judiciary". It has been found that the government has violated personal liberty of the detainees. Disregarding the orders of the Supreme Court to release the detainees, the government has time and again arrested them even before they are out of the SC premises.

In the past eight months, the government has violated the orders of the apex court in more than a dozen habeas corpus petitions, although the court repeatedly reminded the government to respect its orders as per Article 96 of the constitution. The verdict delivered in response to the habeas corpus petition of the suspected Maoist detainee Rajendra Phuyal is one of a dozen examples. Although the SC ordered its administration to send a copy of the verdict to the Home Minister the same Friday, the government did not pay any heed to the SC order. The government neither released the detainees nor did it respect the SC orders. Instead it lied to the court, stating that it released the detainees while it was holding them unlawfully. Though the SC has slammed the government saying that it no longer tolerates the violations of human rights, the government is unlikely to respect the court orders.

Incidents of utter disregard of the SC orders by the government clearly show that independence of judiciary is at stake in this country. The government has treated the SC orders as nothing else but mere formalities. All these things are possible only in an undemocratic regime where wishes of rulers become the law of the land.
Such a regime not only curbs all forms of freedom but also treats its citizens as mere subjects or slaves. However, the government cannot reduce the SC to a mere skeleton when the people demand for independence of judiciary.

Presently, the government has no option but to abide by the SC order.