Judicial independence


One cannot but agree that “the concept of [judicial] independence is a complex one” (“A way to judicial independence”, Nov.20), but it cannot be ensured only by and at the time of appointments. Any system of appointments is bound to fail unless complemented by a required mechanism that is usable by the poorest and maximum “stakeholder” to ensure accountability in the country’s routine judicial-institutional functioning.

The United Nations Report of the Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers 2014 states that the justice system in its entirety should be submitted to accountability mechanisms (paragraph 119) and suggests that hearings and decision-making should permit public scrutiny of the work of justice operators (paragraph 121). While there should be no restriction on the freedom of judges which has no bearing on their judicial conduct and all further required needs are ensured to the courts for a required delivery of justice, judicial favour and delay must also be defined unambiguously and non-exhaustively. The contempt law may be retained only to the extent indispensable for required judicial functioning. Information technology must be used better and beyond case management. Needless to say, judicial accountability is a rule of law which is the reverse of, and not a functional interference in, judicial independence. Therefore, a verifiably accountable judge is no less important than a veritably appointed one for a required functioning of our rule of a law-core constitutional democracy.

Ravindra Pratap, Haridwar, Uttarakhand

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2020 11:10:54 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/letters/judicial-independence/article7906654.ece

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