IN INDIA judiciary is one of the three pillars having co-existence with legislature and executive. Judiciary is in some way at a higher pedestal amongst these three organs because it is the only mechanism to keep the executive and legislature within their jurisdictions by confining them not to abuse or misuse their powers. It controls, corrects or quashes the executive, however high it is, and even sets aside acts of the legislature if it acts contra-constitutionally. Judiciary is the guardian and final interpreter of the Constitution. It is a place of utmost trust as it is last resort for the people.
It is not negated that corruption is non-existent in certain judicial systems rather it would be fair to say that in some countries corruption is nominal, infrequent and the result of individual, unethical behaviour.
It is also evident from the words of the former Chief Justice of India S. P. Bharucha, when he grieved over the rampant corruption in the higher judiciary and brought to notice that around 20 percent judges of the higher judiciary are corrupt. Now the question remains; can the judicial accountability be trusted upon any more? Does the judiciary hold the same value, as it had earlier? Is the judiciary abusing its freedom? Can judges be permitted to do anything in the guise of ‘independence’? These are the questions which still remained unanswered.
Corruption is the misuse of entrusted power for personal gain. In the context of judicial corruption, it relates to acts or omissions that constitute the use (or it is better to say ‘misuse’) of public authority for the private benefit of court personnel, and results in the improper and unfair delivery of judicial decisions. In corrupt judiciaries, citizens are not afforded their democratic right of equal access to the courts, nor do the courts treat them equally. The merits of the case and applicable law are not paramount in corrupt...