21 January, 2021

Opinion | It's Time To Pass Judicial Standards And Accountability Bill In Parliament

The whole question of judicial independence needs a fresh look in the context of the jurisprudence of checks and balances, writes lawyer and former Union minister Manish Tewari

Illustration by Saahil
Opinion | It's Time To Pass Judicial Standards And Accountability Bill In Parliament

The enormous difference between former Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi’s nomination and previous selection-elections of retired Supreme Court judges to the Rajya Sabha need to be evaluated in the context of the vast increase in powers of the office of the CJI before and after the Advocates-on-Record versus Union of India case in 1993, Re–the Second Judges case. This case tripped both the intricate doctrine of balance of power between the executive, judiciary and the legislature, as well as the theory of checks and balances that lies at the heart of the Indian constitutional scheme.

With the institutionalisation of the collegium system post the Second Judges case, the chief justice, being the de facto head of the respective Supreme Court collegiums, has become the fulcrum that has the propensity, given an inclination, to exercise weight upon the entire judicial apparatus of the country from a civil judge to a high court Chief Justice.

India’s judicial apparatus is divided into three distinct levels. At the bottom are the district courts and its...



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