Mains- Answer writing practice: Judicial independence
‘Judicial independence should by in sync with judicial accountability’. Discuss it in the context of India. (200 words)
An independent judiciary is important to safeguard judicial independence because the judiciary is not only the final interpreter of the constitution, but also preserves and enforces fundamental and legal rights against any arbitrary violations. The Constitution of India contains many provisions to maintain the independence of judiciary.
However, current mechanisms to make the judiciary accountable are seen as inadequate by many, as exemplified by the following:
• Removal of judges of the Constitution extracts judicial accountability but it is a long-drawn-out and difficult process.
• Opacity in in-house investigating mechanism of the Judiciary: However, it has been found to be wanting as seen in the recent sexual harassment allegation case against the CJI.
• Judicial appointments: The collegium system has been criticised on the grounds of opacity, nepotism, favoritism and bias.
• Contempt of court: In some cases, it has been alleged that the judiciary has been silencing its rightful critics by invoking the Contempt of Courts Act.
There is a need to increase both horizontal and vertical accountability of the judiciary and make the judicial system more transparent.
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