More accountability for judiciary recommendedApril 23rd, 2011 - 10:28 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, April 23 (IANS) As eminent jurists at a seminar here recommended more accountability for the judiciary in the wake of recent corruption allegations, Home Minister P. Chidambaram Saturday said a clean judiciary was the right of every Indian.
Speaking on “What Ails the Indian Judiciary”, jurists also suggested setting up of independent commission to appoint judges to high courts and the Supreme Court.
“It is the right of every citizen in this country to have a clean judiciary. Litigation in this country is no longer a rare occurrence. Judges have the power of life and death over citizens of this country,” Chidambaram, himself an eminent lawyer, said.
He said those who go to the courts go with the “hope and expectation that justice will be done”.
“The least that they expect from the system is an honest judge, who will do justice according to law,” Chidambaram said.
In his keynote address at the annual K.N. Katju memorial lecture, retired Supreme Court judge Justice Kuldip Singh said the recent reports of corruption in Indian judiciary were “disturbing” despite being “minor as compared to various maladies challenging the Indian society”.
“Judiciary is very vital to ensure the sustenance of the society and (incidents of graft) should be checked immediately,” he said.
He, however, maintained that the judiciary in India “has never failed to deliver”.
“It has, rather, many a times, helped the people and the cause of the people successfully.”
Noted jurist K.K. Venugopal was of the view that the judicial commission for the appointment of judges should include leader of the opposition and certain eminent jurists, who are not members of the bar.
“This will also help in removing the inordinate delay in appointments to the higher judiciary and checking nepotism,” he said.
He said the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) had already passed a resolution accepting the provisions of the Constitution 67th Amendment Bill, which provides for setting up of the independent commission.
Former chief justice of India Justice J.S. Verma said: “The institution of judiciary is greater than any of the judges in it and the image of the court is far more important than any other individual, whether he is appointed or not.”
N. Ram, editor-in-chief of The Hindu, also listed the formation of the commission as an immediate “national agenda”.
“One of the immediate national agenda should be setting up of the National Judicial Commission to make recommendations for judicial appointments in the Supreme Court and high courts and draw up a code of ethics,” Ram said.
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