Independence of judiciary not a one-time pill, says Chief Justice Gogoi
Gogoi is leading an Indian delegation at the two-day conference of chief justices of members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).
Independence is the very soul of a functional judiciary and has to remain constant in the face of “continuous and recurrent waves of onslaught”, Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi told a conference in the Russian city of Sochi on Tuesday.
Gogoi is leading an Indian delegation at the two-day conference of chief justices of members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO). He addressed the inaugural forum and later spoke on the theme “Steps to strengthen the independence of the judiciary”.
People of every nation aspire to an independent judicial system and independence is the very soul of a functional judiciary, he emphasised in his speech.
“Independence of judiciary is not a one-time pill – it is a ‘state of affairs’ that has to remain constant in the face of continuous and recurrent waves of onslaught aimed at disturbing such ‘state’,” he said.
Gogoi drew attention to the fact that the judiciary has to rise and stand up to protect Constitutional ethos, even during trying times.
In India, he said, the executive and judiciary have enjoyed a “healthy relationship of mutual respect”.
Independence of the judiciary as an institution is different from the independence of judges, but at the same time, they are mutually dependent and vital for a strong and responsive judicial system, he pointed out.
Gogoi asked the audience to ponder over ways to strengthen the judiciary’s independence from within, and emphasised the need to develop and nurture leadership in the judiciary.
Referring to the UN’s Basic Principles on the Independence of Judiciary, he said countries that support and invest in strong judicial infrastructure are more likely to have stable governments and administrations.
Chief justices and judges of the Supreme Court from SCO member states are participating in the conference. Gogoi was accompanied by Justices VN Ramana, DY Chandrachud and MR Shah.