Shruti Desai


January 20, 2023

Is NJAC a violation of Article 368 or violates the theory of pith and substance?  To understand we must go back to the root of the matter.      Brief History This issue is neither constitutional nor legal. The issue is to decide the procedure for appointment of Judges in High Courts namely the High Court and Supreme Court. As such the debate on the procedure to appoint judges to higher courts was debated forcefully by several leading giant members of the Constituent Assembly. But no consensus was drawn. The details we shall see here are below. But before that somewhere in the year 1991 by order and Judgement of the Supreme Court, a system was designed by the name Collegium. In Collegium 6-8 Judges would consider candidates for the office of the higher court judges which includes the Chief Justice of  State and Supreme Court Collegium members. Who selects the candidates and forwards the names to the Law Ministry for scanning intelligence background. There is no other role of the Government in the selection process. The President in the course gives his assent and notifies. Is this a correct system that was dreamt by the makers of our Constitution? Or is hit by pith and substance? Link to read Judgement : https://indiankanoon.org/doc/753224/ Current scenario and the allegations: Over a period of time, this system was allegedly affected by nepotism and it is alleged that it has created a monopoly. There were news reports as well as reports of a senior lawyer at the bar that 50% of the Judges are relatives of the ex-Judges. In the meantime, the Government enacted a law called National Judicial Appointments Commission Act, 2014 ( NJAC ) which was abrogated and declared ultra-vires by the Supreme Court. This resulted in the continuity of the Collegium System. In its logical and practical argument that the Judiciary, it’s argued that the participation of politicians in the selection process may vitiate the independence of the judiciary. This danger was also visualized by the late Dr. B.R. Ambedkar. For the said reason though amendments were moved to adopt the American method of appointment of judges to the higher courts same were withdrawn by respective Constituent Assembly members. However, the late Dr. Ambedkar could not have thought of the situation persisting today about the collegium system which has allegedly resulted in the monopoly of a few families. Here is the link: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/govt-gives-collegium-proof-of-nepotism-in-picks-for-hc-judges/articleshow/65220425.cms https://www.hindustantimes.com/india/50-hc-judges-related-to-senior-judicial-members-report/story-S8RP2Ir9cEuIN4NewFnvML.html   With this background let us see the history of this issue and why it did not reach finality during the finalization of the Constitution of India.    The Government of India Act, 1919 provided in Section 101 for the Constitution of High Courts; and the appointment of the Chief Justice and the permanent Judges were in the absolute discretion of the Crown, subject only to the prescribed conditions of eligibility. The tenure of their office, according to Section 102, was dependent entirely on the Crown’s pleasure. Under the Government of India, Act, 1935, appointments of Judges of the Federal Court and the High Courts were at the absolute discretion of the Crown or, in other words, […]

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JUDICIAL ACTIVISM AFFECTING ORIGINAL SCOPE OF DUTIES? An analysis based on Article 138 of the Constitution :

May 15, 2021

My Quote: We must consider a person whose money and land is blocked in litigation dies everyday. Article 138. Enlargement of the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court (1) The Supreme Court shall have such further jurisdiction and powers with respect to any of the matters in the Union List as Parliament may by law confer (2) The Supreme Court shall have such further jurisdiction, and powers with respect to any matter as the Government of India and the Government of any State may by special agreement confer, if Parliament by law provides for the exercise of such jurisdiction and powers by the Supreme Court Poetic Justice: English drama critic Thomas Rymer coined the phrase in The Tragedies of the Last Age Consider’d (1678) to describe how a work should inspire proper moral behavior in its audience by illustrating the triumph of good over evil. The demand for poetic justice is consistent in Classical authorities and shows up in Horace, Plutarch, and Quintillian, so Rymer’s phrasing is a reflection of a commonplace. Philip Sidney, in The Defence of Poesy (1595) argued that poetic justice was, in fact, the reason that fiction should be allowed in a civilized nation. But Indian Civilization believes in Karma which was much much prior to theory of poetic justice: And here they say that a person consists of desires, and as is his desire, so is his will; and as is his will, so is his deed; and whatever deed he does, that he will reap. : Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, 7th century BCE Judicial Activism: During #pandemic #Covid19India Judiciary played active role. As such over last 15 years there is more judicial activism. When we change or expand horizon we need more efficiency, professionalism, workforce, intellect, reduction in procedure and process, and also with today’s time we need modern technology. We have in last decade seen Judiciary calling #AirChiefMarshal for questioning on #Rafaeldeal We saw courts ordering change in 1000 years custom and usage in case of #shabarimala At the same time #NJAC was struck down. There is Judicial activism seen by way of PILs and suo motu cognizance. However the fundament duty of Judiciary has seen serious backlog. May it be suit, appeal or execution. We cannot value the total amount stuck in financial  recovery cases,  and land cases pending in various courts across India. Common citizens discuss but do not debate because of scare of law. I am referring these sequences of events because recently Bombay High Court said if people die of lack of oxygen it’s violative of Article 21. What does it provide? Article 21 in The Constitution of India 1949 gives  Protection of life and personal liberty No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law. Backlog of Cases violate of Constitutional Rights? there is report which requires serious considerations even by those who are executing duties under oath. https://prsindia.org/policy/vital-stats/pendency-cases-judiciary which says: In 2016,  compared to 2006, number of cases disposed of increased approximately from 57,000 to 76,000  in Supreme Court;  from 14.4 lakh cases to 16 lakh cases in High Courts and from […]

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