Public Administration Mains 2018 : Model Question and Answer - 85

(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)

Model Answer:

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)

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