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Holding judges accountable made easy

the Judicial Standards and Accountability Bill has many flaws in many respects. The main aim of the Judicial Standards and Accountability Bill is to make the appointment process transparent and to check abuse and misuse of power by the judiciary.

Our Prime Minister is accountable but a judge even in a lower court functions without accountability. The Bill will ensure that judges restrain themselves from making unwarranted comments against constitutional/ statutory bodies/ institutions/ persons in open court while hearing cases.

The judicial bill will bring about corrective methods to ensure that judges are made accountable. The proposed Clause 47 of the Bill which checks a judge’s misbehaviour will have an impact. Law Minister Salman Khurshid’s innovative idea of starting the All India Judicial Service cadre will be of immense help in getting good quality of judicial officers.

In the US, the appointment made by the President is subject to approval by the judicial committee of the Senate which questions the judge by open proceedings. It is expected that the judiciary will imbibe accountability and transparency into its system with the passage of this Bill.

HARPREET SANDHU, Advocate, Ludhiana


Only an impartial and independent judiciary can protect the rights of the individual and can provide justice without fear and favour (editorial ‘Judicial accountability’, March 31)

Judicial accountability provides for responsibility for decisions and explanation when asked for. Our Constitution provides for removal of a judge of the Supreme Court or the High Court for proved misbehavior or proved incapacity by the process of impeachment initiated in the Parliament.

Under the new Bill, even a common man can complain against a judge’s misconduct. There is also provision for punishment against frivolous complaints against a judge.

While executive action and even legislation could often be struck down by the courts, the directions of the courts, sometimes issued without even notice to the affected parties, were beyond question, and had to be obeyed by all executive officers for fear of contempt of court.

Of course, often these powers were wisely exercised to correct gross executive inaction. The courts in our country enjoy virtually absolute and unchecked power unrivalled by any court in the world.

It is absolutely vital that judges of the superior judiciary be accountable for their performance and their conduct – whether it is for corruption or for disregard of constitutional values.

The journey we started with Right to Information Bill has progressed further with the Judicial Accountability Bill, hopefully with the Whistle-blower Bill and Lokpal Bill we will have more transparent and corruption free governance.



Passing of such Bills sans any effective debate would not serve  any  purpose  and would render such laws futile. The attitude of the government  towards  laws relating to eradication of corruption is ludicrous, whether it is the Lokpal Bill or the Judicial Standards  and  Accountability Bill. It conveys a wrong message among the masses.

 Indian judicial system is always criticised for its slow functioning and corruption. Judges are under an obligation  to deliver justice, but the overflow of  corruption in the judicial system has rendered this pillar of democracy hollow.

KSHITIJ GUPTA, Narwana (Haryana)

Maoist challenge

Gurmeet Kanwal’s article ‘Meeting the Maoist challenge” (March 31) presents a somewhat skewed solution to the problem, though it briefly talks of a comprehensive socio-economic strategy to tackle the problem. However, the major thrust in the write-up seems to be based upon the axiom ‘if the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail’.

The futility and failure of the conventional approach to tackle Maoist challenge by force is quite in evidence, considering that the problem emanating from a small village of Naxalbari in late sixties has engulfed 230 districts of 20 states in merely 4 decades.

Had the successive state and central governments sincerely addressed the root causes comprising extreme poverty and lack of development in the affected areas, the challenge would not have been there in the first place. By the suggested methods employing force, the symptoms may be controlled temporarily, yet it is no guarantee of a permanent solution.

It is quite likely that the underlying wounds inflicted by decades of neglect may start erupting again in near or distant future. This is because no one has pin-pointed the basics reasons for the forests turning red.


Insult to judiciary 

Embarrassment for Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal is well deserved as concluded in the editorial “A minister in jail” (April 2), in view of the Akali party having taken the various misdeeds of Jagir Kaur lightly. The crime becomes even more heinous when seen in the light that Bibi also headed the SGPC and she little for the honour of womanhood.

Providing VIP status to Bibi Jagir Kaur & Co. in jail is yet another insult to our justice delivery system when jail premises are being used by her as if visiting a government rest house. The Jail Department should immediately stop all undue and undeserved generosity in treating a ‘VIP’ criminal.

B B GOYAL, Ludhiana



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