Judicial Reforms

Kapil Sibal writes: The Collegium system has failed India


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Collegium system

Mains level: backlog of cases, appointment of judges based on perceived proximity to political power

Burning Issue] Judiciary in Times of COVID-19 Outbreak - Civilsdaily

Central Idea:

The author highlights the challenges faced by the Indian judiciary, emphasizing the need for unbiased judges and a political system that separates religion from politics. The use of religious sentiments for divisive purposes is criticized, calling for a transparent and merit-based judicial appointment system.

Key Highlights:

  • Judicial challenges in handling a growing population and increasing litigations.
  • Delayed justice in the Supreme Court, impacting the relevance of decisions.
  • Concerns about the quality of judges and perceived ideological alignments in appointments.
  • Critique of the current collegium system and its lack of transparency.

Key Challenges:

  • Overburdened judiciary with a rising number of cases.
  • Delayed justice affecting the effectiveness of legal decisions.
  • Perceived ideological biases in judicial appointments.
  • Lack of a transparent and merit-oriented system for judge selection.

Key Terms:

  • Collegium System: The system of appointing judges through a committee of senior judges.
  • Ideological Alignment: Alleged connections between judges and specific political or religious ideologies.
  • Judicial Hierarchy: The levels of the judicial system, with the Supreme Court being the highest.

Key Phrases:

  • “Bedevilled with challenges”: Describing the complex issues faced by the judiciary.
  • “Divide and rule”: Criticizing the use of religious emotions for political manipulation.
  • “Seminal issues”: Highlighting the critical issues decided by the Supreme Court.

Key Quotes:

  • “India needs judges who deliver justice unconcerned with majoritarian sentiments.”
  • “The collegium system has failed us.”
  • “For the judiciary to regain its glory, it needs to do more than just decide on cases.”

Key Examples and References:

  • Reference to the Chief Justice addressing dormant cases but acknowledging the urgency needed.
  • Critique of the appointment of judges based on perceived proximity to political power.

Key Facts and Data:

  • Increase in litigants seeking justice due to a burgeoning population.
  • Delayed hearings and decisions in the Supreme Court.
  • Issues with the current system of appointing judges.

Critical Analysis:

The author criticizes the judiciary’s current state, highlighting issues of delayed justice, ideological biases, and the failure of the collegium system. Emphasis is placed on the need for transparency and merit in the appointment process.

Way Forward:

  • Reforming the judicial appointment process to ensure transparency and meritocracy.
  • Addressing the backlog of cases to expedite justice delivery.
  • Advocating for a political system that separates religion from politics to avoid divisive agendas.

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