Question – Describe the importance of independence of the judiciary. Also mention the relevant Constitutional provisions for fair functioning of the Supreme Court. – 13 January 2022
The independence of the judiciary means that “The other two organs of the government, the legislature and the executive, should not interfere with the work of the judiciary and do not interfere with their functions in any way, so that they can do their work properly and do justice fairly.”
Importance or advantage of independent judiciary
- Only an independent judiciary can protect the freedom and fundamental rights of citizens. The constitution has given 6 types of fundamental rights to the citizens, on which if anyone tries to impose restrictions, then the judiciary can make provision to punish him.
- The essential elements of democracy are liberty and equality. Therefore, freedom and equality of opportunity to the citizens will be available only when the judiciary performs its work with impartiality.
- An independent judiciary is the protector of the constitution. The judiciary declares the anti-constitutional laws invalid and repeals them. Therefore, it is necessary to have an independent judiciary for the stability and security of the Constitution.
- An independent judiciary increases the efficiency of governance by keeping control over the legislature and the executive.
Constitutional provisions made to maintain the independence of the judiciary
- Security of tenure: Judges of the Supreme Court can be removed from office by the President only on the basis of the provisions mentioned in the Constitution.
- Appointment of Supreme Court Judges: The executive is required to consult the judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts while appointing the judges of the Supreme Court.
- Conditions of Service: The salaries and allowances of the judges of the Supreme Court are determined by the Constitution and charged on the Consolidated Fund of India.
- Powers of Supreme Court: Parliament can extend the powers of the Supreme Court, but cannot reduce the jurisdiction and power of the Supreme Court (Article 138).
- Separation of the judiciary from the executive: Article 50 directs that steps shall be taken by the state to separate the judiciary from the executive in the public services of the state.
- There shall be no debate in the legislature on the conduct of judges: According to Article 121, there can be no debate in Parliament or the State Legislature regarding the conduct of a Judge of the Supreme Court in the discharge of his duties, except where there is a process of impeachment.
- Power to punish for contempt: The Supreme Court has the power to punish any person for contempt thereof (Article 129).
- Restrictions on practice after retirement: Article 124 prohibits retired judges of the Supreme Court to practice and practice before any court or any authority in the territory of India.
An independent judiciary is important for a country like India. It acts as a leader in establishing constitutional supremacy and ensuring social, economic and political justice for all citizens of the country.