Proper justice can be achieved only when the judge is not bound by any outside institution or persons. In this article we will discuss the Independence of the Supreme Court in a simple and easy way.
So for better understanding, first understand the Basics of Supreme Court and then read this article till the end, and don’t forget to read all related articles;
Independence of the Supreme Court
concept of judicial independence
We are able to trust the court only because we believe that the court will not favor anyone, will not come under pressure from anyone and will take decisions without any bias.
The principle of judicial independence which plays the biggest role in maintaining this nature of the court. Judicial independence simply means the independence of the judiciary from other branches of government, from private or partisan interests of the government.
Judicial independence is very important for realizing the idea of separation of powers. Otherwise, it came to know that the decisions of the court are also being made according to the government. And if this happens, it will completely demolish the concept of welfare democracy.
In other words, it can be said in this way that the principle of judicial independence is adopted so that the judges are free to take decisions through their judicial discretion during their entire tenure while protecting the supremacy of the constitution. No matter how politically unpopular those decisions may be or opposed by powerful interests.
Fairness, independence and reasonableness in judgment are the hallmarks of the judiciary. It is said that if “fairness” is the soul of the judiciary, then “independence” is its lifeblood. Fairness cannot flourish without freedom. From this you can understand how important freedom of judicial thought is.
Keeping these few ideas and principles in mind, the Constitution has made the following provisions to ensure the independence and fair functioning of the Supreme Court, let us understand it.
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| Some of the factors that ensure the independence of the Supreme Court
1. Mode of Appointment
The President may appoint the judges of the Supreme Court, but the biggest role in this is the collegium system in which apart from the Chief Justice, there are four other senior judges. This system itself is a great independence of the Supreme Court which ensures that judicial appointments are not based on politics.
2. Independence of the Supreme Court in terms of security of tenure
Security of tenure is provided to the judges of the Supreme Court. That is, once appointed, the President cannot remove him from his mind, he can be removed only through the provisions mentioned in the Constitution. This implies that although he is appointed by the President, his tenure is not at his mercy. How effective this system is, you can guess from the fact that till now no judge of the Supreme Court has been removed.
3. Fixed Service Terms
The salaries, allowances, leave, privileges, pension of the judges of the Supreme Court are determined by the Parliament from time to time. And no unfavorable change can be made in it except in financial emergency. In this way, the facilities availed by them last for the entire tenure.
4. Independence of the Supreme Court in the matter of expenditure from the Consolidated Fund
The salary and office expenses, allowances and pension and other administrative expenses of the judges of the Supreme Court are charged on the Consolidated Fund of India. This means that it can be discussed by Parliament but not voted on.
5. The conduct of judges cannot be debated
In addition to impeachment, the Constitution prohibits debate on the conduct of judges in Parliament or in the State Legislature. That is, how the judge behaves in the court, how he deals with the cases, all these are his issues, it cannot be debated in the Parliament.
6. Prohibition on advocacy after retirement
Retired judges are not at liberty to serve in any court or authority anywhere in India. This has been done to ensure that they do not take into account future profits while making decisions.
7. Power to punish for contempt
The Supreme Court can punish a person who contemplates it. For this, the Supreme Court takes recourse to the Contempt of Courts Act 1971. In which all the things are written like how much punishment will be in civil and criminal contempt case, etc. Overall, this means that its actions and decisions cannot be criticized by any unit. At least not in the wrong way.
8. Freedom of the Supreme Court to appoint its own staff
The Chief Justice of India is empowered to appoint officers and employees without interference from the executive. He can also decide their terms of service.
9. Its jurisdiction cannot be deducted
Parliament can increase the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court but Parliament has no right to curtail the jurisdiction and powers of the Supreme Court. What is the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court? We are going to discuss it in the next article from where you will get a lot of clarity.
10. Separate from the executive
On the basis of the distribution of powers, three pillars of democracy are mentioned, in which all three depend on each other and remain separate from each other. That is why judicial powers have not been given to the executive and executive power to the judiciary. But since the orders given by the Supreme Court under Article 142 have to be complied with, sometimes they are also seen doing executive work. For example, during the second wave of Corona, the Supreme Court had given some executive orders using this article.
So overall judicial independence acts as a safeguard for the rights and privileges provided by the constitution and prevents executive and legislative encroachment on those rights. Excessive independence can also be harmful because in such a situation there can be abuse of powers by the judges. That is why one thing you will notice is that there is a complex series of interdependencies and inter-dependencies between the judiciary and the executive which cross-examine each other and balance each other.
Apart from this, another flaw is seen in this system, that is, there is a lack of judicial accountability in the highly independent judiciary, that is, they do not give full information about their justification behind their decisions, they are protected from legal consequences. So if judicial accountability is ensured, it can strengthen judicial independence.
So here is the independence of the Supreme Court and with this we end this article. The link of the next article is given below, for better understanding, you must read it too.
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