Judicial Reforms

Judges cannot be shielded from citizens’ questions

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Not much

Mains level : Paper 2- Judicial pendency

Context

Recently, the Chief Justice of India, in his own mild way, protested against the attack on judges. One can understand his pain and agony, but he too knows that judges do not, and should not live in ivory towers.

Questioning and analysing actions of the judiciary

  • As the judiciary is one of the pillars of democracy, and the Constitution entrusts judges with the task of protecting the constitutional rights of the people, especially the right to life and liberty, the consumer of justice has every right, and would be fully justified in critically examining, and commenting upon each and every word of the judges spoken or written, howsoever unpalatable it may be.
  • It appears that it is in the above spirit that MP Shashi Tharoor, speaking in Parliament on the High Court and Supreme Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Amendment Bill said that the judiciary had failed to stem the tide of militant majoritarianism.
  • He alleged that the “judiciary’s inaction almost always favours those in power”. 
  • He has raised pertinent questions, and has brought out the glaring failings of the judiciary in matters concerning the protection of the constitutional rights of citizens. 
  • Pendency of important cases such as the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution, the Citizenship Amendment Act, electoral bonds, and many petitions under the preventive detention laws highlights this issue.

Issues in functioning of collegium system

  • As regards the functioning of the collegium system, judges are transferred without any seeming justification, and in some cases re-transferred, justifying neither their initial transfer nor the re-transfer.
  • Some elevations of judges raise eyebrows, while some are ignored.
  • Should the collegium not be more transparent than it has been in the past in the matter of the elevation and transfers of judges?

Conclusion

Judges cannot be shielded from citizens’ questions. After all, as a consumer of justice, the citizen has a right to know.

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prashaant kumaar
prashaant kumaar
5 months ago

Thank you very much please.