In a programme, Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud said that the university system is the best system available now. The purpose of this system was to preserve freedom, which is a fundamental value. Former chief justice UU Lalit also called it an “ideal system” for appointment of judges to the supreme court and high courts.
New Delhi: The Chief Justice of India, Justice DY Chandrachud, has said in defense of the collegiate system of appointment of judges that not all systems are perfect but it is the best developed by the judiciary. It is known that the collegial system has long been one of the main reasons for disputes between the central government and the judiciary.
Speaking at the ‘India Today Conclave 2023’, the CJI said that the purpose of the collegium system is to preserve independence and this can be done by isolating it from external influences.
According to The Hindu, CJI Chandrachud said, “As Chief Justice, I have to maintain the system as it has been given to us.” I’m not saying all systems are perfect, but this is the best system we’ve developed.
He said: “The purpose of this system was to maintain freedom, which is a fundamental value.” If the judiciary is to be independent, then we must separate the judiciary from outside influences. This is the inherent characteristic of the college.
Amidst the tussle between the government and the judiciary, the CJI also hit back at Law Minister Kiren Rijiju, who expressed dismay at the government’s reasons for not approving the names recommended by the Supreme Court collegium for the their appointment as judges of the constitutional courts.
The CJI said, “You have a perception. I have a belief and surely there will be a difference of opinion and what is the harm in having a difference of opinion? We also have to deal with perceptions within the judiciary. I dare to say that there is a difference of opinion even within the government.
He further said that I do not want to get involved in a dispute with the Law Minister over his perception. I respect his belief and I’m sure he respects ours too.
He further said that the reason we have put these (reasons for rejecting the names of judges recommended by the government) on the Supreme Court website is that the current collegium wants to address the criticism that it is said that we are not transparent . and we believe that the opening of processes will lead to greater trust among citizens.
‘Sexual orientation of a candidate for appointment as a judge has no bearing on his ability’, says CJI on controversy over Collegium’s recommendation to appoint senior gay advocate Saurabh Kirpal as High Court judge of Delhi even after the government rejects it. It has nothing to do with .
Significantly, in the month of January, the Supreme Court bench had reiterated the recommendation of Saurabh Kirpal’s name, despite the government rejecting it in November 2021, citing his homosexuality as the reason.
Asked how independent is India’s judiciary and whether there is any pressure from the government, the CJI said there is no pressure from the government on how to decide cases.
He said: “In my 23 years as a judge, nobody told me how to decide a case. I don’t even talk to a colleague who is presiding over a case and ask him what’s going on in that case. There are lines we draw for ourselves This is part of our training.
The CJI said, “This is not pressure from the executive branch of the government. I hope I speak for the rest of the system as well. The decision of the Election Commission is proof that there is no pressure on the judiciary.
On the issue of 4.32 million cases pending before the judiciary, he said that it is true that the number of pending cases is huge, but it shows the faith of the people in coming to the courts to seek justice.
He also pointed to the lack of infrastructure in the judiciary behind the backlog of cases. At the same time, it was also said that the number of judges should be reduced in proportion to the population.
He said that we have to completely modernize the Indian judiciary. Our model of judicial administration is based on the colonial model, which we inherited from the British.
On the issue of trolling of supreme court judges on social media, the chief justice said it was important not to be swayed by the din of extremist views.
He said that every word spoken in the court is being live tweeted and it is also a huge burden on us.
Several opposition MLAs recently asked Speaker Draupadi Murmu to take immediate action on social media trolling of CJI Chandrachud when he was deliberating on a matter related to the role of the Maharashtra Governor during the formation of Eknath Shinde’s government .
Collegium system is ideal for appointment of judges: Former CJI UU Lalit
In the context of Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju questioning the collegium system, former Chief Justice of India UU Lalit on Saturday also described the collegium system as the “ideal system” for the appointment of judges to the supreme court and the higher courts of the country.
According to The Hindu, like the current CJI, he also told the ‘India Today Conclave’ that the judiciary is completely independent from the executive.
Citing the basic examination of a person before selection as a judge, he said: “According to me, the collegiate system is the ideal system. You have people whose entire profile is seen by the High Court. Not by 1-2 people, but repeatedly as an institution.
Justice Lalit said that “the system is designed for the best possible talent” and not all recommendations of the High Court are accepted.
He also talked about the Saurabh Kirpal issue and said that it was not the college’s fault for not being able to appoint him, the fault was somewhere else.
Justice Lalit further said that he does not agree that the courts should become ‘executive courts’ and said that it is very easy for an outsider to criticize, people jump to make statements.
He said: “All the courts are quite independent and you will see that in this process as well.” I was presented with two cases: Siddiq Kappan and Teesta Setalvad, both of whom were released on bail. Another case was that of Vinod Dua, he was also given relief in the case. The third case was that of Varavara Rao, we also gave him relief.
He said, “We immediately jump to making sweeping statements.” It’s not like that. The courts are completely independent. It is very difficult for the judges and very easy for an outsider to criticize.
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