Is an Arunachalee legal luminary in making?

By Pradeep Kumar

Beyond the Horizon

Arunachal Pradesh was the last among eight NE states to separate Judiciary from Executive in 2013, though Article 50 (Part IV) dealing with ‘Directive Principles of State Policy’ under heading “Separation of Judiciary from Executive” says: “State shall take steps to secure that, within a period of three year from the commencement of this Constitution, there is separation of judiciary from the executive”.

The same year the Centre in principle had agreed to give a separate high court (HC) to the state for better supervision, monitoring and control over the subordinate courts. And Supreme Court (SC) Chief Justice A S Anand had inaugurated Itanagar permanent bench of Gauhati HC at Naharlagun on 12.08.2000. The first law college Arunachal Law Academy was set up in 2007. All these delayed Arunachalees to make bench mark in judiciary field.

One among them is Tadup Tana Tara, who began his career as a journalist with this editor teaching him the ABC of journalism. He served withThe Arunachal Times, Asian Age and The Telegraph (1991-1996), besides Nyishi Elite Society, appointed member of Joint High Powered Committee on Chakma & Hajong issue and founded Arunachal Olympic Association as general secretary. Despite serving as adviser to chief minister at the age of 25, he is not identified with any political colour.

He had joined legal profession in 2005 after obtaining LLB from Dibrugrh UniversityHe rose faster in his career to reach SC, the highest seat of justice. His professional proficiency has been proved umpteen times. After GoAP dissolved three-tier panchayat system on 15.03.18 to convert it into two-tier, Gauhati HC while disposing of WP(C) No.231 (AP)/2018 – All Arunachal Pradesh Panchayat Parishad GS Sangha Tagik-VS-State of Arunachal Pradesh, in a landmark judgement, had directed GoAP to conduct PRI election. The HC while disposing two PILs filed by social activist Payi Gyadi on 21.07.18 had directed the GoAP to set up Lokayukta soon. And in both cases Adv Tara was counselor of defendants.

He was appointed additional advocate general by the GoAP in 2016. He was appointed additional advocate general by the state Govt in 2016 but also invited to defend Telengana state Govt in similar panchayat related case. If caliber is merit for any profession, the GoAP should consider appointing him as advocated general instead of an outsider.

However, no state advocate is known to have ventured into writing books, but he successfully did it with aplomb. His writing ability surfaced in 1995with the publication of his first book – The Tribes of Eastern Himalayas.

In an exclusive interview to this editor, he said: “Many young lawyers from various chambers very often used to approach me for guidance on laws relating to criminal trials, bails and art of cross examinations. It was very difficult for me to offer personal guidance to them.  Thus, I hit upon the idea of writing a book to help the learning lawyers on fundamentals of criminal laws for them to succeed in their professional careers.

“Moreover, no state lawyer thought of writing law book even almost two decades of service by the HC to the state. This being the need of the time, I burnt middle night lamps for years to study thoroughly to complete the book – “Easy Reference on Criminal Law”.

The preface reads: “This book divided into six parts is written after years of reference from various research papers, law journals, including the author’s note of law college days, from lectures in delivered in various seminars in law colleges and social events, and from his over a decade long experience as a lawyer.”

This book will draw attention of those who matter, the way I had drawn the attention of then Itanagar permanent bench of Gauhati HC judge justice I.A. Ansari by writing – Who will judge the judges? – in this column under subtitle – Legally speaking – on 28.01.09. Its conclusion was “How could the SC judges, who can be removed only by an impeachment in the Parliament, be penny wise pound foolish? It is the trial of your honesty, Mr Honour. You chair the highest judiciary institution of the country, but you should realize that your case is in the People’s Court, Your Honour! If the Constitution spells out the principles of equality of law, are the judges above law? If yes, then where stands the concept of equality of law?”

Justice Ansari had called for me through then deputy registrar P B Dutta, lauded my efforts and advised to maintain the tempo.

Every human action is with a purpose. Therefore, Justice Altamas Kabir, before taking over as Supreme Court Chief Justice, at the end of his two-day visit had told this editor at Naharlagun on 06.04.12:  “We care for you; you are part of the system. My presence itself is a message that we care for you and the people of this remote state is part of this (democratic) system.”

The judges during interaction might be commenting on Tara’s ingenuity, which are very personal not for public consumption. Who knows he might pin point some comments in his autobiography?

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