(Public Administration Paper II / Chapter: Union
Government and Administration)
(Current Based) Question:
The refusal to implement the decisions of the collegium is
hurting the independence of judiciary. Comment. (10 Marks/150 Words)
The first blow to the independence of the judiciary came in 1973
with the supersession of the three senior-most judges of the Supreme Court.
Justice H R Khanna dissented from emergency and paid the heavy price of being
denied the office of Chief Justice of India.
Alarmed at the executive interference, the Supreme Court devised
the collegium system in 1993, giving itself the primacy and the final say in the
appointment of the high court and Supreme Court judges.
But now what is more worrisome is a deliberate refusal to
implement the decisions of the collegium. The collegium has sadly deferred the
decision of the appointment of Justice K M Joseph despite its earlier decision
affirming his suitability.
The model recommended by the Venkatachaliah Commission can be
implemented to replace the collegium. But it is impermissible to not amend the
Constitution but simultaneously and consistently adopt a confrontational
attitude with the collegium. For the present, the collegium must assert its
independence before its own importance is eroded by repeated inaction and
deliberate defiance. (Total Words- 162)
Valuable inputs from The Indian Express Opinion: ‘Harming the
Nation’ by Arvind P Datar
(Linkages: Judiciary and Independence, Judiciary and
Executive Interference, Judiciary and Collegium)