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Is judiciary accountable?

The answer to this moot question is found in the Constitution itself.

india Updated: Apr 12, 2006 15:34 IST

Whether judiciary is accountable for its decisions? And if yes, to whom are the moot questions. The answer to this is found in the Constitution itself. A judge of the Supreme Court or a High Court can be impeached on the ground of proved misbehaviour or incapacity. The power to impeach a judge is vested in Parliament vide Articles 124(4) and 217(1)(b).

In the case of judge's impeachment, Parliament acts as a judicial body and its members must decide the guilt or otherwise of the judge facing the indictment objectively. They should be influenced by extraneous considerations in this regard.

When such a judicial function is discharged by Parliament, it is highly debatable whether political parties can issue whips directing members to vote in a particular manner. An interesting case study in this regard is the impeachment proceedings against Shri Justice V. Ramaswamy, which ended unsuccessfully.