CJI cautions govt against restricting judiciary

CJI cautions govt against restricting judiciary

Fears legislative overreach in accountancy bill

Chief Justice of India S H Kapadia has cautioned the government against tinkering with judicial autonomy on the pretext of bringing transparency in the apparatus.

“I request the government to ensure that accountability is balanced with judicial independence. The government may make laws to make the judges accountable. We are not afraid of that,” the Chief Justice said in a function organised by the Supreme Court Bar Association to celebrate the Independence Day.

Referring to the Judicial Standards and Accountability Bill that has already been passed by Lok Sabha and is pending in Rajya Sabha, he called for detailed studies and wide-ranging consultation to avoid any Constitutional imbalance and make transparency compatible with judicial independence.

“We need to take opinions of eminent jurists coming from all sections...otherwise, I am afraid that with the state of drafting of laws in our country today, we will be disturbing the constitutional balance, which we will regret for all times to come.

"Therefore, I request the honourable Law Minister that be it a collegium system, be it Accountability Bill or whatever laws you bring, please take the opinion of eminent jurists," he said.

Judge’s warning

Emphasising the need to respect the rights and privileges of all the organs of the state, he said the constitution has established a fine system of checks and balances and the participants in a democracy - the legislature, the executive and the judiciary - are “duty-bound not to disturb each other”.

Justice Kapadia, at the same time, warned the fellow judges against judicial overreach. "We, sometimes in our anxiety to do justice, have disturbed Constitutional balance. I find balance is getting disturbed by judgments.

Judges should be careful while drafting judgments,” he added.

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