Independence of Judiciary

INDEPENDECE OF JUDICIARY

Independence of Judiciary means that the courts should remain away from the influences of the other organs of the Government or from private or partisan interests. Judicial Independence is one of the most important features of the democracy. Independence of judiciary is important for ensuring the safety of the rights and the privileged given to general people and stops the other two organs namely executive and legislature from infringing the rights and liberty of people. It is the base of the rule of law, rule of law means that all power is vested in law and so it regards law as the supreme power of the land. For the equal protection of law, it is very necessary to ensure the separation of power between three organs of the Government i.e., Legislature, Executive and Judiciary. Fairness of a judgment can only be ensured by providing independence to the judicial system from the politics.

Master of Roster: CJI

In simple words Master of Roster means, the person who is entrusted with the administrative work.  Basically Roster is the one who plans to distribute tasks to all members with a view to attain efficiency. With respect to law, it means administrative power of Chief Justice of India to decide which bench will hear which case.

In the year 2018, the bench comprising of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud held that CJI is the Master of Roster and he has all the power to decide which case will be heard by which bench. The one fascinating fact about this is that this judgment was meant to set aside the controversy raised by four judges which includes Justice J Chelameswar (since retd.), Ranjan Gogoi, Madan B Lokur and Kurian Joseph. The contentions presented by these judges were that the CJI is miscuing his authority and because of the Master of Roster power the cases are being given to some selective benches and senior judges are being ignored.

Fascinating fact is that when later Justice Gogoi became CJI, he even then not removed this rule instead in his tenure this rule became more controversial. Because in his tenure many important cases like Rafael cases came and almost every decision is given in the favor of centre and later on after his retirement he even became a part of Rajya Sabha. These were one of the political reasons related to Justice Gogoi because of which critics criticized this rule saying that this rule is giving CJI an arbitrary power which is a danger for the independence of Judiciary.

There was also a situation when Justice Ranjan Gogoi attended case against him of sexual harassment and it became a controversy because as per the rule of Natural Justice no person can be judge in his own case. This also was regarded as a threat to independence of Judiciary. This is really a big irony that the judge who was against the ‘Mater of Roster’ because the one who is himself using this power in a very controversial manner.

The Master of Roster rule is good to centralize judiciary and determine properly which case is suitable for which Bench, so that there remain no confusion about which judgment is of which Bench. But there should be a strict law to prevent the misuse of this power by CJIs for their own benefit.

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If you would also like to contribute to my website, then do share your articles or poems at secondinnings.hr@gmail.com

We also have a Facebook Group Restarter Moms for Mothers or Women who would like to rejoin their careers post a career break or women who are enterpreneurs.

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