|Demand of the question Introduction. Contextual introduction. Body. Discuss why independent and integrated judiciary is the basic pillar of parliamentary democracy. Conclusion. Way forward.|
The judiciary has been assigned a very significant role in the Indian democratic system and is a part of the basic structure of our constitution. Its independence is essential for the effective discharge of the duties assigned to it. Independence of judiciary means a fair and neutral judicial system of a country, which can take its decision without any interference of executive or legislative branch of government. In other words, judges are free from restrictions, influence, pressures and threats direct or indirect from executive or legislative.
Independent and integrated judiciary- the basic pillar of democracy:
- Protection of individual rights: Only an impartial and independent judiciary can protect the rights of the individual and can provide equal justice without fear and favour.
- Accountability to the people: Judicial independence is very important to uphold the democratic principle of accountability. It helps to keep the executive and legislature accountable to the people through judicial review and judicial activism.
- Constitution interpretation: A written constitution can hardly be effective in practice without an independent and impartial arbiter of constitutional issues and also that it is necessary to restrain governmental organs from exercising powers which may not be sanctioned by the Constitution. The written constitution is considered as the basic law of land and requires some authority to interpret it without prejudice and self-interest.
- Rule of law: For the maintenance of the rule of law and fair judicial administration, an independent judiciary is of utmost importance. The job of judiciary is to interpret Constitution and laws and make sure the executive and legislature are making decisions based on Constitution and laws.
- Prevent arbitrary acts: Independent judiciary plays an important role in controlling the arbitrary acts of the administration. If the arbitrary act of the administration causes injury to any person, it provides relief to them.
- Prevent autocracy: Judicial independence is important for that a democracy does not transform itself into an autocracy. Without an independent judiciary, we will have dictatorship, as the executive will be able to do whatever it likes.
- Free and fair elections: Independent judiciary ensures universal adult franchise as enumerated in constitution. The judiciary’s role in deciding the validity of presidential, vice-presidential, parliamentary and state legislative elections also necessitates independence of the judiciary.
Independence of the judiciary is one of the basic structures of the Indian Constitution. In S.P. Gupta v. Union of India, the Supreme Court held that the concept of independence of the judiciary is a notable concept which inspires the constitutional scheme and constitutes the foundation on which the edifice of our democratic polity rests. It is the judiciary which is entrusted with the task of keeping every organ of the state within the limits of the law thereby making the rule of law meaningful and effective.