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Lower courts den of corruption

Judicial accountability has emerged as an urgent need for the efficient and fair functioning of the Indian legal system, but the mechanism to implement this has been an issue of debate. To say people are disillusioned with the judiciary would be going too far. The higher courts, in particular the SC, has been regarded as the saviour of democracy in these times of epic legislative incompetence. The real cause of concern is the functioning of the lower courts.

india Updated: Jun 14, 2006 19:39 IST

Judicial accountability has emerged as an urgent need for the efficient and fair functioning of the Indian legal system, but the mechanism to implement this has been an issue of debate.

To say people are disillusioned with the judiciary would be going too far. The higher courts, in particular the SC, has been regarded as the saviour of democracy in these times of epic legislative incompetence.

The real cause of concern is the functioning of the lower courts. As they fall, proximally, under the supervision of the state high courts the appointment of HC judges assumes significance in this regard also.

These judges are in a position to directly influence the working of these generally lethargic and corrupt courts. So, the authors concerned about the integrity and competence of the chosen person is logical and worthy of appreciation.

Extrapolation of the logic that political considerations influence the government's decision in appointing a judge to HC has been rather unfortunate. The President has to consult the judge of the SC as well as the governor of the state concerned, prior to any appointment.

This reduces the negative influence, if any, of the advice of the council of ministers. Making seniority as the sole criteria may have some logic only for the post of the CJI but it fails to stand ground in case of chief justice of a high courts.