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Synopsis: The new Chief Justice must seriously consider the Challenges in Judiciary. He must free himself from the bias in constituting benches. Also, he should take concrete steps to revitalise the administration of justice.
Justice N V Ramana will be the next Chief Justice of India. But there are certain serious challenges in Judiciary. One of the most important ones is to reform the Judiciary to provide “Justice to all”.
Constitution on Supreme Court:
- The framers of the Constitution understood the importance of the oath of office of judges of the Supreme Court of India (SC). They carefully designed its language.
- The oath contains “without fear or favour” to “uphold the constitution and the laws”. These words show the significance and stress the court to a ferociously independent.
- Similarly, Article 50 of the Constitution provides “The State shall take steps to separate the judiciary from the executive in the public services of the State”
Constituent Assembly debate on Separation of Judiciary:
- K T Shah moved an amendment to Article 50 proposed an important amendment. He proposed “separation of powers as between the principal organs of the State. I.e., the Legislative, the Executive, and the Judicial. He mentions the separation of Judiciary alone will result in the following. Such as,
- This will make Judiciary open to suspicion from the Executive and the Legislative
- The separation of Judiciary and Executive will also rule out the possibility of translation from a high judicial office to an equally high executive office and vice versa.
- Over a period of time, the Judiciary will suffer from their personal privileges or personal ambitions.
- Overall, this will affect the civil liberties in the country.
- On the other hand, Shibban Lal Saxena was of the opinion that the complete independence of the Judiciary from the state was an important one.
- He mentions that the High Courts at that time were are not independent. They are influenced by the political consequences of their actions.
- So he wanted the future Judiciary to be free from these influences.
- Further, he also mentioned that the Supreme court has to observe the principles inherent in the constitution. I.e. a clear-cut mention of functions and procedures to avoid any influence of government in the Judiciary.
- But B R Ambedkar rejected these views. Furthermore, he was of the opinion that the chances of influencing the conduct of a member of the judiciary by the Government are very less.
- He predicted that the judiciary will very rarely decide the cases between citizens and the Government.
- He also predicted that the judiciary will decide the cases in which the Government has very little or no interest at all.
- But history shows even a great man can go wrong. Today the Judiciary is deciding numerous cases in which the government has a direct interest. CJI being a Master of the Roster is constituting these benches and allocate matters.
Challenges in Judiciary:
There are various challenges in Judiciary. These are,
- The SC is expected to look for strict accountability from the legislature and executive. Moreover, the SC also corrects any violation of the Constitution and laws. But this is not happening in reality. There are many instances where the court sided executive of the day and not stand for the people of India.
- The Judiciary is also facing few fundamental challenges. Such as,
- All these challenges in the Judiciary deprive and elude Justice to the common man, especially the vulnerable sections of society. The present CJI also highlighted this deprivation of Justice.
Suggestions to improve the Judiciary:
- The Preamble of the Indian Constitution begins with ““We, the people of India”. So the powers of the Judiciary is also come from the people, like the executive and the legislature. The Judiciary has to accept this.
- Revitalising the administration of justice: This is feasible if the CJI take concrete steps such as
- Freeing himself from the bias in constituting benches and allocating cases
- He can seriously introspect and review the actions of his immediate predecessors,
- All this will restore the “rule of law” and the proper fulfilment of the provisions of the Constitution.
During the NJAC judgment (2015) one of the Judges observed that the decisions of CJI have immeasurable political and financial consequences. Further, he also mentions the far-reaching public interest of CJI’s decisions. So, the current CJI has to make serious efforts to address these challenges.
Source: The Indian Express