English Vocabulary from “The Hindu Editorial”-(Day-77)

Important English Vocabulary from “The Hindu Editorial”-(Day-77):

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The Hindu Editorial – 13.01.2018

Judiciary in turmoil

It is a great misfortune that an internal rift has moved inexorably towards a full-blown crisis

It is a development that is both momentous and unfortunate. The press conference held by four seniorjudges of the Supreme Court has exposed an unprecedented level of dissension in the top echelons of thejudiciary. It is regrettable that the banner of revolt hasbeen raised in such a public way against the Chief Justice of India, Dipak Misra. Regardless of who is right inthe current dispute over the administrative functioningof the CJI, the reverberations of what took place on Friday will not easily subside and will be felt for a long timeto come. There was ample evidence over the last fewmonths that the highest court was in a state of ferment;the question is whether it could have been handled internally rather than be dragged into the open like this.Although Justices J. Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan B. Lokur and Kurian Joseph — the senior most judges after the CJI — did not reveal too many details, it is clear that their grievances are rooted in their perception that Justice Misrais misusing his administrativepowers to assign cases “selectively”, disregarding conventions on allocation of judicial work. They have added for good measure that cases with far-reaching consequences for the nation and the institution are beingassigned to junior judges and Benches “of their preferences”, a suggestion that is being read by some as an ominous reference to an unknown external hand.  Itought to be underscored here that the Chief Justice is indeed the master of the roster; even the four judges concede that this is a well-settled law, one that is reflectedin a Constitution Bench judgment in 1998. While accepting the rule that the Chief Justice alone can decide the composition of Benches and allot judicial work,they allege that Justice Misra is departing so far from setconventions that it would have “unpleasant and undesirable consequences”, ultimately casting a doubt onthe integrity of the institution itself. Logically, this is aninternal matter of the judiciary, one that is best settledthrough deliberations in a full court meeting of all theSupreme Court judges themselves.The letter written by the four judges to the Chief Justice, which became available to the media, and themanner in which the press conference played out, suggest that the grievances go much deeper than what waswritten or said. The germ that led to the outbreak of the current conflict could be the controversial Prasad Education Trust case, in which the petitioners alleged that some individuals were plotting to influence the Supreme Court.  In an unusual order, a Division Benchheaded by Justice Chelameswar went ahead todelineate the composition of the Bench to hear the case, inwhich charges of judicial corruption were made, coupled with hints that there would be a conflict of interestif Justice Misrawere to hear it. Eventually, a five-judgeBench headed by Justice Misra overturned the orderand asserted that the CJI was indeed the master of theroster and that he alone could assign cases and decideon the composition of benches. While there is no questioning who has the power to determine the roster,what the four judges are essentially questioning is howthis power has been exercised. Judicial work is primarily allocated based on a roster, and individual cases areallotted to Benches based on the category under whichthey fall. Once the roster is fixed, the CJI should ordinarily see that it is duly followed. Exceptions must be rare,and that too only for compelling reasons. While it is notclear in how many cases such exceptions were made,the four judges seem to have had an issue over the petition that sought an inquiry into the death of special CBIjudge B.H. Loya in 2014 being posted before a particularBench. The deceased judge was hearing the Sohrabuddin ‘fake encounter’ case, in which BJP president AmitShah was an accused but later discharged. Given the political sensitivity of the matter, the concern expressed over this case is something that must besquarely addressed in a way that dispels any misgivings.

As for the government of the day, it must stay stead fastly away from the internal conflict in the judiciary — something that it has professed it will do. Ratherthan be inexplicably silent, it must disclose its positionon the Memorandum of Procedure for judicial appointments and communicate this clearly to the Supreme Court. One of the specific issues raised in the letter written by the four judges relates to this issue. They havesuggested that since the Centre had not responded to the MoP, effectively it was deemed to have been accepted. Given this, they have questioned why a two-member Bench had reopened the issue when the matter was already decided by a Constitution Bench. Rather than brush away the concerns of the fourjudges, the Chief Justice must convene a meeting of thefull court and give them a patient and careful hearing.Disapproval of the form of their protest must not cloudthe substance of their grievances. That four senior Supreme Court judges could have been pushed to takesuch a drastic and unprecedented step suggests that the differences were allowed to fester and divisions allowedto run deep. Also, that they believed, rightly or otherwise, that their options of settling their differences internally were exhausted. It is best that there is no more airing of differences in public and that this incident isregarded by posterity as an aberration rather than aprecedent. About a year ago, the nation was discomfited that the executive and the judiciary were publicly,and often very strongly, disagreeing over judicial appointments. An internal rift in the judiciary is far moreserious. It poses the risk of diminishing the image of thejudiciary and the esteem it enjoys in society. This institution has illumined national life for more than six decades, but a dark shadow hangs over it now. It is a moment for collective introspection.

1).Unprecedented (Adjective)

Definition: never done or known before

Synonyms:unparalleled, unequalled, unmatched, unrivalled

Usage:The government took the unprecedented step of releasing confidential correspondence

2).Echelons (Noun)

Definition:a level or rank in an organization, a profession, or society

Synonyms: Level, rank, grade, step, rung, tier, stratum, plane, position

Usage:The upper echelons of the business world


3).Germ (Noun)

Definition:An initial stage from which something may develop.

Synonyms:start, beginning(s), commencement, starting point, genesis, inception

Usage:The germ of a brilliant idea


4).Delineate (Verb)

Definition:Describe or portray (something) precisely

Synonyms:Describe, set forth, set out, present, outline, depict, portray

Usage:The law should delineate and prohibit behavior which is socially abhorrent


5).Dispels (Verb)

Definition:make (a doubt, feeling, or belief) disappear

Synonyms:Banish, eliminate, dismiss, chase away, drive away

Usage:The brightness of the day did nothing to dispel Elaine’s dejection


6).Inexplicably (Adverb)

Definition:in a way that cannot be explained or accounted for

Synonyms: unaccountable, unexplainable, incomprehensible

Usage: Many crucial documents had inexplicably disappeared


7).Fester (Verb)

Definition:become worse or more intense, especially through long-term neglect or indifference.

Synonyms:rankle, chafe, gnaw (at one’s mind), eat away at one’s mind, ferment

Usage:Below the surface, the old antagonisms festered


8).Posterity (Noun)

Definition:The descendants of a person

Synonyms:Descendants, heirs, successors, offspring, children

Usage:God offered Abraham a posterity like the stars of heaven


9).Aberration (Noun)

Definition: a departure from what is normal, usual, or expected, typically an unwelcome one

Synonyms:anomaly, deviation, divergence, abnormality, irregularity, variation, digression

Usage:They described the outbreak of violence in the area as an aberration


10).Introspection (Noun)

Definition:the examination or observation of one’s own mental and emotional processes

Synonyms: brooding, self-analysis, soul-searching, heart-searching

Usage:quiet introspection can be extremely valuable


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