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Fewer judges increasing pendency, hope for movement by govt to clear names: CJI

GS Paper 2

Syllabus: Structure, function and organization of judiciary and executive, the appointment of judges etc

 

Context:

  • The problem of pendency of cases is “intensifying” due to a lack of the sufficient number of judges, the Chief Justice of India said the government is yet to clear 23 names recommended for various high courts (HCs).

 

Current Affairs

 

Issues concerning the judiciary:

  • Political Pressure:  while the ruling party wants courts to endorse its moves, the opposition wants judges to fight its political battles. But the judiciary is accountable only to the Indian Constitution.
  • Criticism on social media: of judicial rulings or against a judge
  • Inordinate delays in some cases:g., delay in hearing the case of the electoral bond, the pleas of girls in Karnataka shut out of class for wearing hijabs
  • Contradictions: E.g., Court’s decision on a plea related to the Gyanvapi mosque case seemed to show amnesia over the Places of Worship Act that it had so firmly upheld in its 2019 Ayodhya ruling
  • Sedition law:  Lower courts continue to ignore SC directions on “bail, not jail” as the default setting on unproven charges
  • Huge vacancy: 19% in SC, 44% in HC and 23% in lower courts

 

Suggestions by CJI:

  • Transformation and filling up vacancies: Transforming and upgrading the judicial infrastructure in India, as well as filling up judicial vacancies and augmenting the strength.
  • Reduced response period from the government: Government should expedite the process so that the remaining vacancies can be reduced considerably.
  • Use of arbitrations: He said the “growth of the Indian arbitration scenario has been very responsive to global trends and demands.
    • Many international dispute resolution institutions are being established across the country to provide the commercial world with a fast and effective resolution of disputes.
    • The presence of such international arbitration centres will not only boost India’s global position as an investor-friendly nation but also facilitate the growth of a robust legal practice.
    • He had “taken the initiative to set up an International Arbitration and Mediation Center in Hyderabad”.
    • He also conveyed that the Center has proposed to set up another one in Gujarat.

 

 Insta Links:

Appointment of Judges of Supreme Court and High Court

 

Practice Questions:

Q. The judicial systems in India and U.K. seem to be converging as well as diverging in recent times. Highlight the key points of convergence and divergence between two nations in terms of their judiciary practices. (UPSC 2020)

 

Q. Consider the following statements:

  1. The SC collegium is headed by the CJI and comprises four other senior-most judges of the court.
  2. An HC collegium is led by its Chief Justice and four other senior-most judges of that court.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

a. 1 only

b. 2 only

c. Both 1 and 2

d. Neither 1 nor 2

Ans: :(a)

Justification:

Collegium System:

  • It is the system of appointment and transfer of judges that has evolved through judgments of the SC, and not by an Act of Parliament or by a provision of the Constitution.
  • The SC collegium is headed by the CJI and comprises four other senior-most judges of the court.
  • An HC collegium is led by its Chief Justice and two other senior-most judges of that court.

 

Source: Indian Express, Live mint