[Editorial Analysis] A Court in Crisis

Mains Paper 2: Health
Prelims level: Issues related to Judiciary
Mains level: Issues related to Health Sector.

Context:

• As the new CJI steps in, the debate arises about his approach in dealing with the mammoth challenges before SC, by upholding Constitutional spirit and values.

Editorial Insights:

The Constitutional Checks on Judiciary:

• The oath taken by judges keeps them without fear or favour and upholds the constitutional value in performing their duties.
• Article 50 of the constitution empowers the state to take steps in separating the judiciary from the executive in the public services.

Why Checks?

• To prevent the possibility of translation from a high judicial office to an equally high or sonorous executive office.
• To remove public suspicion on Judiciary.
• To prevent personal privileges or personal ambitions encroachment in the administration of justice.
• To be able to maintain judges civil liberties to the degree and in the manner of purity which is highly desirable.
• To prevent any possibility of influencing the conduct of a member of the judiciary by the govt.
• To seek strict accountability from the legislature and executive and any infraction of the constitution must be corrected.
• To serve the needs of billion-plus needs by standing for the people but not for the executive.

Fundamental Challenges faced by Judiciary:

• Millions of pending cases
• Inequality and lack of representation for vulnerable sections in the higher judiciary.
• Issues of quality of judges and their decisions
• Organizational issues.
• Outdated technology
• Questions over its integrity and impartiality.

CJI: The Hope

• The Chief Justice of India is the first amongst the equals.
• CJI assumes the significant powers as the Master of the Roster to constitute benches and allocate matters.

Actions to be taken by New CJI:

1. CJI must seriously introspect and review the actions of immediate predecessors.
2. Free himself of the bias in constituting benches and allocating cases.
3. Taking concrete steps to revitalize the administration of justice.
4. Taking proactive steps in appointing new judges for higher judiciary.
5. Taking concrete steps in providing equal representation for vulnerable sections in higher judiciary.

Conclusion:

• It is in the hands of New CJI to seriously address the systemic issues plaguing the judiciary to affirm the people’s faith in the institution.

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