Judicial independence under threat: CPM

Judicial independence under threat: CPM

The Supreme Court is facing the "most-serious crisis", and as the government is seeking to interfere in the higher judiciary, judicial independence is in danger of being compromised, the CPM has said.

The issues raised by four judges on  the court's functioning, in an unprecedented press conference, should not be "brushed under the carpet", and the collegium as a whole and the full court of judges should discuss and resolve the outstanding issues on the basis of the "principle of democratic functioning and transparency", the party said.

In an editorial in the party mouthpiece People's Democracy, the CPM said the judges' complaint comes at a time when the entire judicial system is facing "various strains and pressures" with the "major threat" being the way the executive is seeking to interfere in the higher judiciary.

It said the Centre is trying to acquire powers to vet and veto appointments to the Supreme Court by demanding the inclusion of certain clauses in the memorandum of procedure.

There is "every danger of the independence of the judiciary being compromised by the pressure tactics adopted by the executive", the party said.

The editorial also referred to the complaints by justices J Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan Lokur and Kurian Joseph about the allocation of cases by the Chief Justice.

"The senior judges have raised issues of vital importance, which have a bearing on the integrity and independence of the judiciary. The empirical evidence confirms their cause for concern," the editorial read.

"For instance, in many of the major cases before the court, such as the Ayodhya case and the Aadhaar case, none of the four found any place in the bench, let alone heading it," it added.  

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