A country’s legal institutions are said to have ‘Judicial Independence’ if they are,
- Able to function independently without pressure.
- Their judgments are carried out without any hindrance.
- Appointments of Judges to their chair are without any bias or undue favour.
Indian Judiciary already has a high level of judicial independence, but we can strive to protect and further this independence by;
- Stricter meritocracy in the appointment of judges, especially in the lower levels.
- Enacting stricter laws for contempt of court as we have instances of rich and influential personalities regularly skipping trials and hearings.
- Assigning special investigation teams to report directly to the court bypassing concerned governments, this will increase the independence of court procedures and discourage interference of vested interests.
- Discouraging judges from taking up posts like governorships after retirement, promise of which may compromise their freedom and the independence of court.
- Appointing judges, through the NJAC, this gives a more balanced panel than the older systems and therefore increased impartiality.
The independence of the Judiciary is of paramount importance for a large and diverse democracy like ours, and by ensuring it we can further improve the people’s faith in our already reliable legal system
What do you understand by ‘Judicial Independence’? How can the independence of judiciary be provided and protected in India? Critically examine. (200 Words)