22 December, 2020
6 Min Read
What is the issue?
Andhra Pradesh CM wrote to the Chief Justice of India alleging that some High Court judges are hostile to his government and are deliberately striking down his regime’s decisions and orders.
In effect, he has accused many judges of misconduct, corruption and political bias. Such an open conflict between the judiciary and a Chief Minister is without precedent. In view of the above, the CM urged the CJI to consider initiating steps to ensure that the State’s judicial neutrality was maintained.
The Constitution protects the independence of judges of the High Courts and the Supreme Court by making them removable only through a long process of impeachment.
However, not all forms of misconduct will warrant impeachment. There could be other kinds of impropriety too.
There are times when serious complaints of this sort are received, and the Chief Justice of India (CJI) is called upon to examine them.
Since 1997, judges have adopted an ‘in-house procedure’ for inquiring into such charges.
The Supreme Court has not been immune to serious blows and allegations from within and without. The institution has been more fragile ever since the press conference addressed by four former judges.
There is a rise in personal attacks through the captive or social media which can be a devastating weapon of disinformation against a judge who cannot mount a counterattack on the same platform.
Their aim, more often than not, is not to point out flawed judgments or administrative failures, but rather to weaken the judiciary and bend it to their own narrow interests.
The attacks have snowballed during the last six years. The courts, strong and invincible as they may look from the outside, have preferred caution rather than aggressive responses.
Allegations against Judiciary ought not to be made lightly for sensationalism without substantive and positive evidence. Nothing short of the faith of the people in the judiciary and the rule of law is at stake.
A fair, independent judiciary whose integrity is unimpeachable is the bedrock of the Indian democracy, and the CJI must save it by taking up this issue. With the spirit of everyone being equal before the law.
The Judiciary owes it to its own institutional history to keep its unblemished character supreme and its dignity sacrosanct, as it is an exemplar of democratic values.
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