Millennium Post

Let there be justice!

On a day when the government tabled a bill to overhaul the way senior judges are picked in this country, there was an outburst in a courtroom packed with reporters and advocates. It came from none other than the Chief Justice of India RM Lodha. Lodha, on Monday, voiced his support for the judiciary and the collegium system. Defending the existing collegium system, he said: ‘If you say the collegium has failed, then everybody has failed. All the judges today were appointed by the collegiums.’

The CJI also observed that ‘there is a campaign to defame judiciary in the eye of public.’ And perhaps there is no need to shake people’s trust and confidence in the Indian judicial system and malign it.

It is important to mention here that the Indian judiciary has kept aside political impulsion on several occasions and given judgments for the benefit of society and considering the exceptional impunity that this pillar of Indian democracy enjoys, it is absolutely essential to maintain very high standards of judicial integrity.

The plan to rework how judges are chosen comes at a time when allegations of corruption have shaken up the system. The stately corridors of the Supreme Court, its pillars and beautiful lawns boast of many vital judgments meted out to corrupt politicians, dreaded terrorists and unworthy bureaucrats. But now, all of a sudden, the apex court, which could do no wrong once, is under fire.

What is more appalling is the fact that the custodians of this temple of last resort are now being questioned, their judgments condemned. Where there should be fear of court, undaunted audacity and guts have sneaked in.

It is essential to understand that the entire system cannot be questioned only because of a few isolated cases of corruption that have come to light in the recent past. A very similar picture of accusations and denials prevail in the political domain as well.

There are many who think there is a need for an amendment in the procedure and it requires debate and introspection. In other words, it is very vital to keep faith on the veracity of this institution and refrain from pointing fingers at individual judges. Change can never come overnight and thus there should be no indications of metamorphosis with deliberation and proper consideration.

To us, the famous quote of George Washington which is over two centuries’ old is still valid: ‘The administration of justice is the firmest pillar of government.’ And so should it remain.
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