Judicial Accountability - an Illusion or a Reality
In a ‘democratic republic’ power with accountability of the individual enjoying it, is essential to avert disaster for any democratic system. The accountability must be comprehensive to include not only the politicians, but also the bureaucrats, judges and everyone invested with public power. Power and position in the society come attendant with responsibility, and every incumbent of a public office must remain constantly accountable to the people, who are the repository of political sovereignty. Accountability of the judiciary at every level, in a democracy cannot be doubted. The need of an effective mechanism for the enforcement of judicial accountability, when needed, is a felt need and must be accepted.The method by which judges are selected has become a matter of considerable concern for the citizens of our state. Although judicial elections may always has been important and vital process, the selection process is now coming under particular scrutiny. Some believe that although imperfect, the process in place works well enough to need only minor adjustments; others claim that a major overhaul, even scrapping, of the system is necessary. Certainly attention to the issue is warranted: The provisions in place for judicial accountability all threatened by the spread and deepening of problems that, if left unattended, will erode the public's confidence in our judiciary. Objective ---- A democracy is highlighted by the fact that each and every part of it is accountable to each other. In this situation, an independant judiciary which is the backbone of the efficient functioning of the democracy in India has come under a lot of scrutiny. How far do we go to ensure the independance of judiciary when transparency is the shrill and persistent demand of the Time. The judiciary – especially the higher judiciary – has put itself up on Cloud Nine, wrapping itself in a cloak of inviolabilityHow are Judges appointed? Why are they appointed? What are their short-comings? How are these dealt with?These are some questions, the answers of which we would endeavour to reach analysing the various relevant provisions of The Constitution Of India. Appointment of Judges---
The High Court judges are appointed by the president after consulting the chief justice of India, the governor of the state concerned and, in case of appointment of a judge other than the chief justice, the chief justice of the high court to which the appointment is to be made as provided by the article 217(1). Every judge of the supreme court shall be appointed by the president after consultation with such of the judges of the supreme court and of the high court’s as the president may deem necessary for the purpose as laid down under article 124(2). The words “appointed by the government in consultation with the Chief Justice” in the Constitution were interpreted as “appointed by the government on the advice of the Chief Justice” in the various judgments by the Supreme Court as cited:- S. P Gupta----
A seven Judges Bench of Supreme Court extensively considered the issues of Independence of Judiciary in relation to the appointment and transfer of Judges, the issue of appointment of the Additional Judges of the High Court, the issue of the privilege of the Government against disclosure of State documents and the scope of judicial review of the powers exercised by the President. While deciding the issue of the locus standi of the petitioning lawyers who had challenged the Circular of the Law Minister and short-term extensions of Additional Judges on ground of attack on the independence of the judiciary, Justice P.N. Bhagwati while upholding their right to do so held that where the effected persons are really helpless, the Supreme Court will not insist on a regular writ petition to be filed by the public spirited individual espousing their cause. The Court will readily respond even to a letter addressed by said...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document