CJI’s remarks on a different accountability yardstick for judges is worrying

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News: Chief Justice of India in his speech from Constitution Day (26th November), talked about the role of judiciary and executive in providing justice to people.

What is the CJI’s viewpoint?
Read here: Judicial Intervention to nudge exec, not usurp its role: CJI
What were the changes done by the Supreme Court?

According to the author, SC has given itself powers in the following critical areas:

Appointment of the judges: SC, in the second judge’s case, diluted Article 124 dealing with the appointment of judges. The constitution says that the president may appoint judges in consultation with judges of the supreme court or High Court. But in practice, a collegium consisting of the chief justice and four other judges gives recommendations to the president and the word consultation has been interpreted as concurrence.

Striking laws: SC has acquired the power to strike down laws and amendments which have been passed by parliament even by an overwhelming majority in the name of basic structure doctrine.

Basic Structure: NJAC, which was approved by parliament and 20 of the states, was struck down by the supreme court. Judges selecting judges was declared to be part of the basic structure by the supreme court.

What should be the way forward?

The Supreme Court is definitely supreme, but this position comes along with great responsibility. The Supreme Court must be cognizant of its boundaries and act within the bounds of the constitution.

Source: This post is based on the article “CJI’s remarks on a different accountability yardstick for judges is worrying” published in the Indian Express on 2nd December 2021.

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