Judicial independence is eroding, says Bhushan
A gradual erosion of independence is the most serious challenge facing India’s justice system, said lawyer-activist Prashant Bhushan.
Speaking here on Saturday, he said the “allure of post-retirement jobs” influencing “pre-retirement judgments” has been there for a long time.
Another issue affecting the independence of the judiciary was the government’s role in appointing judges. “The current government has adopted a new system to make a mockery of the collegial system of appointing judges. The college makes a recommendation, say, of 10 judges. The government only likes three of them, and they will issue a notification about all three and keep the other names pending. Sometimes for several years. When the Chief Justice of India [CJI] follows him up with the government, eventually they are fired saying these names are not acceptable,” Mr Bhushan said.
Even if the college unanimously reiterates these names, notifications are not issued for their appointment, according to law, for years. “Unfortunately, the court is not using the threat of sending a mandamus, a court order, to the government saying that if you don’t issue the notification, we will send the minister of justice or the legal secretary to jail,” he said. he declared.
Mr. Bhushan claimed that the government would have a file on each judge. “If they find anything that can be used to influence this judge, a sexual harassment case or a CBI case, then that is used. If that judge happens to be the CJI, half of the judiciary is under government control,” Bhushan said. Because it is the CJI, as the master system of the list, which decides which case will be heard by which bench. “It’s a completely undemocratic and misguided convention. All politically sensitive cases will go to a judge who will rule in favor of the government. There’s also a fear factor at work, about judges anticipating arrests” The event was organized by the Calicut Bar Association.