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Fear of Executive Courts

Fear of Executive Courts


  • GS 2 || Polity || Judiciary || Judicial Activism

Why In News?

  • Justice S.R. Sen of the Meghalaya High Court recently observed in a judgment that “anybody opposing Indian laws and the Constitution cannot be considered citizens of the country”
  • He thought it fit to further note that in 1947 India “should have been declared a Hindu country”, and that “our beloved Prime Minister” ought to legislate to grant automatic citizenship to (non-Muslim) religious minorities “who have come from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan”

Basics Duties-Meaning Of Judicial Independence

  • Judgement by judges should be unbiased and should not be under any political influence.
  • The meaning of judicial independence in reality judges are independent from the government.
  • Our Constitution is designed to ensure that judges can do their work “independent” of government influence fixed salaries, security of tenure, and an appointment process that — through the Supreme Court’s judgments — is insulated from executive control.
  • Independence, however, means something more. It also requires that judges perform their constitutional role independent of personal biases, political and moral beliefs, and partisan ideologies.
  • Fidelity (listening) to the law and the
  • Judge should only think about the people.
  • Judicial independence, therefore, depends on judges recognising that law, while being influenced by politics, is not reducible to it.

The Need Of Accountability

  • Law and adjudication must remain autonomous from partisan politics in important ways.
  • And the more we strengthen judicial independence in its first sense — independence from the government — the more attention we must pay for independence in this second sense
  • This is because control brings with it accountability

Background -How This Crisis Deepened?

  • In the 1980s, there was a rapid expansion of judicial power.
  • Some of these steps were important and necessary
  • Others, however, were double-edged swords
  • By the 1990s and the 2000s, under the misleading label of “judicial activism”, the court was beginning to engage in a host of administrative activities, from managing welfare schemes(domain of government) to “beautifying cities” to overseeing anti-corruption initiatives

Towards ‘Executive’ Courts

  • Judgments like the national anthem order, the Tirukkural (Tamil text) order (that every student in Tamil Nadu must study the Tirukkural).
  • The above judgements are not in the domain of the court, they are under the Government.
  • That is why we are terming them as Executive because the work of government is done Judiciary of India (checks the work of government)
  • Instead of checking and limiting government power, an executive court finds itself marching in lockstep with the government, and being used to set the seal of its prestige upon more controversial parts of the government’s agenda

Way  Forward

  • Legal culture is very much required in our system.
  • All three bodies (Executive, Legislative and Judicial) of our system (government) are independent. They should not interfere in each others work.
  • Self accountability- constitutional reasons should be there each judgement.
  • Then only the courts can be constitutional courts and not the administrative ones.
  • The only check possible in the exercise of powers by the judiciary is the self-imposed discipline and self-restraint by the judiciary itself.
  • The faith and confidence of people in the judiciary must always be maintained. The judiciary must provide accessible, affordable and quick justice to the people.

Additional info-Indian Judicial System

Mains Questions

  • India urgently needs the return of a thriving legal culture that uncompromisingly calls out political posturing. Critically examine the statement.