The position of Indian Judicial System in India
Author : Garima, University School of Law and Legal Studies (GGSIPU)
Editor : Paavni Thareja
- The Judicial system of India is being marked as the saviour of our country.
- Initially, with the emergence of Supreme Court by Regulating Act 1773, there was a great need of a proper judicial system and now it is treated as a path of justice.
- Our society relies on this third pillar of democracy for the welfare and credibility.
The status of Indian judicial system can be viewed by understanding the following subtopics.
What is the present position of the Indian judicial system?
- One thing that always strikes in our mind is that, at what position our judiciary is standing today. From a British rule to the modern day of working of courts, the Judiciary has gone a long way and accomplished a victory regarding justice and making of laws with deep interpretation. From Jabalpur to Maneka Gandhi case, our judiciary proved that there is still a presence of hope for justice.
- But if we look at the core of the judicial system, we need to rethink that what is lacking behind? There is a great discrepancy in working of courts in present situation. Due to a large number of cases piled up, there is no transparency in the system and every judge is running behind to dispose of the cases.
- A number of cases are pending in SC and HC, one of the reasons for the pendency of cases is the less number of judges appointed and another reason is the corruption which led to delay in justice.
- People who have filed the cases and are still pending since last 20 years. they usually get disinterested in their own cases and this pendency of cases mark a bad impression regarding Indian judiciary.
- But the situation is improving, when Justice Misra took over, the total pendency in the SC were 57,774 cases. In a short span of two months, the tendency has been reduced by 2,174 cases.
What are the new initiatives taken to improve the working of courts?
- The supreme court gave the green signal for the centre’s scheme to set up 12 fast-track courts to exclusively prosecute and dispose 1,581 criminal cases pending against members of parliament and state legislative assemblies within a year. A Bench of Justices Ranjan Gogoi and Navin Sinha directed the Centre to forthwith allocate ₹7.8 crore to the States for setting up such courts.
- The government has simplified the procedure for filing a complaint. Now a person can file a consumer complaint and FIR online.
- Article 39A of the Constitution of India promote a laudable of providing legal aid to needy one.
How politics is intervening and what is its effect in working of courts?
- From 1966 till today, there is deep interference of politics in Indian judicial system. Between 1966-1977, Mrs Gandhi denounced judges and their judgment to bend judiciary in her power but the emergence of the doctrine of basic structure saved judiciary from the influence of another organ.
- A lot of attempts was made by the government and one of such attempt was in 2006 when the government tried to pass judicial inquiry bill which envisaged national judicial council to conduct inquiries into an allegation of incapacity and misbehaviour of judges.
- The recent example of interference is seen in the appointment of Justice Joseph where the appointment in the Supreme Court is negated by the government because of the fallacious reasoning that seniority must be the basis but the court has already laid down proposition in which it is clearly said that judge may be appointed for good reasons too.
- This influence has a great impact in delay of justice and it is a trend nowadays that government make laws to save their members from allegations and charges against them. Due to this Indian judiciary suffered damage to its pride and prestige. This politicisation of judiciary has lessened the judicial legitimacy.
Whether judiciary is accountable or not?
- Yes, the judiciary is accountable for its action. As far as the position of the judiciary is concerned in the field of accountability, it is the public opinion which must be taken care of regarding the judicial decision.
- Everyone is running behind the powers of government or powers of the judiciary but no one is concerned that what effect would it apply on the public, will they be trusting judiciary again, will judiciary assure public to provide unbiased decision without gaining any personal benefit.
- The judges have to be concerned about what they say and when they say, they have to be aware of their actions at public
- Judicial restraint can be a sign for proving judicial accountability and even an act of a particular juristic person can make the whole judiciary liable which can lead to negative change at every nook and corner.
What are the roles of judges? (master of roaster)
- The main role of a judge is to interpret the law, give punishment for breach of law and deliver justice to make an egalitarian society
- Every judge is marked as a ‘judge of great integrity’ and this integrity cannot be misused.
- With respect to the role of judges, a new concept came into being which is burning topic nowadays i.e master of the roaster. It refers to the privilege of the Chief Justice to constitute Benches to hear cases.
- According to a case State of Rajasthan v. Prakash Chandra, CJI is a master of the roaster and he alone has the prerogative to constitute the benches of the court and allocate cases to the benches so constituted. It has been clarified by the Constitution Bench that this has also been the convention of the Supreme Court and as such is the law.
- Even if CJI has the power to alter the bench but it doesn’t mean that this power should be misused as it is said that the more power you have, the more cautious you have to be.
What is the status of separation of power in India?
- The doctrine of separation of power is a part of basic structure of the Indian constitution. This doctrine was proposed by Montesquieu, although the first thought of separating the legislative power was proposed by John Locke. In 1787, The founding fathers of the United States of America incorporated this principle into their constitution. Montesquieu proposed the basic principle to be that the same person should not form part of more than one of the three organs of the government.
- In India, there is no strict separation of power as compared to the U.S and this flexibility is being misused by various organs of government by indirectly using the power which they don’t have.
- This issue of separation of power has acquired new momentum with respect to the recent appointment of judges when Justice Joseph gave independent ruling where he quashed the central rule and revived Harish Rawat government through a landmark ruling and government doesn’t want independent judges which is the reason for obstructing the appointment of Justice Joseph. This can be the example of misusing the separation of power.
- The three facets of government need to rethink their convention and need to make deep interpretation of what power they have and to what extent they can use these powers.
Suggestions to improve the position of the Indian judicial system.
The position of Indian judicial system can be improved by taking following steps:
- More judges should be appointed to dispose of cases as per the requirement where there is less number of judges in the courts.
- There is a concept of E- Judiciary which means computerising the judicial system. The scope of this concept should be widened to open a path of modernisation.
- As the corruption is increasing in lower courts, it can be abolished by installing CCTV cameras.
- As there is no limit for deciding a case, a time limit must be fixed.
- A systematic procedure should be followed strictly and even all the updates of a case should be made online so that an everyone gets to know the status of the judiciary.
- There should be an appointment of a juristic person at every court to look at the status of each case.