The judiciary is a significant component of our government and is essential to the functioning of our democracy. It is therefore regarded as the protector of the Constitution and the watchdog of democracy. In addition to preserving freedoms, equality, and fraternity, the judiciary ensures justice for all of its citizens. The judiciary’s function in Indian democracy is to uphold citizens’ fundamental rights, especially the administration of just justice. A democratic state’s soul is justice, and it must be administered impartially and without fear. An independent judiciary in a democracy must possess several essential characteristics, including integrity, impartiality, and intelligence.
ROLE OF JUDICIARY:
In India, the judiciary upholds and defends the constitution, safeguards human rights, and fosters goodwill and harmony. Due to this, the Judiciary is granted absolute authority to render judgments that are by the law. In India, the judiciary is neither a branch of the executive branch nor is it subject to its influence. Furthermore, India’s Supreme Court is the top decision-making body in the legal system.
Separation of Power: Separation of Power is required due to the judiciary’s independence. In essence, this means that neither the executive nor the legislative branch may impede the judiciary’s operation.
Dispute Resolution: The courts also have the authority to punish offenders for their offenses. The judiciary oversees almost all social situations that call for rules. Therefore, the courts get involved in resolving disputes anytime they arise.
Judicial Review: The Indian Constitution is subject to final judicial review. Therefore, the court may even rewrite legislation established by Parliament if there is a violation of the Constitution’s essential principles. This process is called Judicial Review.
Upholding the Law and Enforcing Fundamental Rights: Our constitution defines nearly all of the Fundamental Rights of Indian citizens. Any citizen may go to their local high courts or the Supreme Court if they believe that one of these rights has been violated.
STRUCTURE OF JUDICIARY:
The Indian Constitution establishes a unified, cohesive judicial system. India does not have separate State courts, in contrast to some other federal nations around the world. The Supreme Court is at the top of a pyramid-shaped judicial system in India, followed by High Courts, district courts, and subordinate courts. The upper courts directly supervise how the lower courts run their operations.
INDEPENDENCE OF JUDICIARY:
The citizens of India are shielded from partial judgment by the Indian Constitution. Additionally, this gives the judiciary the authority to decide any disputes by the law. The country’s judiciary is an independent body as a result of this power. The Indian judiciary is independent of the executive branch and does not exercise any political influence. Due to its independence, the judiciary can ensure that no branch of the government abuses its authority.
The “separation of powers” is necessary for the judiciary’s independence. Essentially, this means that neither the legislative nor the executive branches of the government are permitted to affect the actions or judgments of the judiciary. Therefore, the judges of both high courts and the Supreme Court must be appointed without any input or interference from other branches of the government for them to effectively exercise their independent authority. A judge who has been appointed by the judiciary is also very difficult to remove from their position.
The following characteristics must serve as the foundation for the judiciary’s structure:
- The judiciary must have restrained the legislative and executive from acting excessively.
- The judiciary Appointment of only judges with extensive training and experience.
- capacity to sustain and independently manage the judicial system.
- The judiciary must be designated as the Constitution’s defender.
- The judicial system must give the populace enough, just, and affordable chances to pursue justice and protect their rights.
- Judges must be appointed in a fair, organized, efficient, and open manner.
- Judges should be tough to remove and should not be subject to one person’s authority.
- High salaries, suitable allowances, favorable working circumstances, and enough retirement benefits must be provided to judges.
A well-organized and independent judiciary can be ensured by including all these qualities in the legal system.
FUNCTIONS OF JUDICIARY:
- To Give Justice to the people: The judiciary’s primary duty is to provide justice to the people whenever they turn to it for assistance. It punishes those who, following a trial, are found to have violated the state’s laws or the rights of the citizenry.
- Interpretation and Application of Laws: Interpreting and applying the law to particular situations is one of the judiciary’s main responsibilities. The judges interpret and apply laws when they rule on the cases presented before them. To apply to each unique situation, every legislation must be properly interpreted. The judges are in charge of carrying out this duty. The meaning of the law is determined by the courts.
- Role in Law-making: The judicial system contributes to the creation of laws. The meaning, character, and reach of the laws passed by the legislature are really determined by the court rulings. Since it is these interpretations that actually define the laws, the judiciary’s interpretation of the law amounts to law-making.
- Equity Legislation: Judges must make decisions based on their sense of justice, fairness, impartiality, honesty, and wisdom when a law is silent, ambiguous, or appears to conflict with another piece of national legislation. Making laws is a requirement for such judgments. Law governing equity is the common name for it.
- Protection of Rights: To protect people’s rights, the judiciary has the ultimate responsibility. If a citizen’s rights are violated by the government, by private organizations, or by other people, that citizen has the right to seek the protection of the legal system. In every one of these situations, the judiciary is in charge of defending the rights of the populace.
- Guardian of the Constitution: The judiciary serves as the Constitution’s protector. The judiciary must interpret and uphold the Constitution, which is the ultimate law of the land. Any statute may be subject to judicial scrutiny for this reason to determine whether or not it complies with the letter and spirit of the constitution. Any statute that is determined to be ultra vires (constitutionally unsound) is rejected by the judiciary and is rendered invalid going forward. The power of judicial review is the name given to this court’s authority.
- Unique Role in a Federation: The court must play a more significant role in a federal system as the protector of the constitution and the mediator of conflicts between the federal government and the states. Between the federal government and state governments, as well as between the states, it serves as an unbiased and independent arbiter. The judiciary adjudicates all center-state legal disputes.
- Administration of the Judicial System: The government does not have a department for the judiciary. It is not subject to either the legislative or executive branches. It is a distinct, independent organ with its own structure and representatives. It has the authority to determine how the state’s judicial system is organized. It creates and upholds its own regulations. These regulate the selection process and daily operations of judges and other court employees. It establishes and upholds regulations for the effective and orderly operation of the judicial system.
- To Carry Out Judicial Investigations: Judges are sometimes asked to preside over inquiry commissions set up to look into severe situations that are thought to have been caused by the government or some public officials’ alleged mistakes or omissions. It is also occasionally necessary to form commissions of inquiry under the direction of a single judge to look into significant and challenging issues and concerns.
The judiciary has the authority to question the government about how its programs are being implemented through public interest litigation. For instance, the Apex Court provided guidelines in Common Cause v. Union of India on the collection, storage, and administration of blood for transfusion as well as the elimination of risks associated with blood transfusion.
The Supreme Court instructed the government to distribute information about the environment using slides in theatres, movie theatres, or special classes in schools or universities in M.C. Mehta v. Union of India.
The Apex Court provided guidelines for how children of prostitutes should be educated in a very well-liked case.
Similar to this, the Supreme Court instructed the Punjab National Bank in the Azad Rickshaw Puller’s Case to extend loans to the rickshaw pullers and incorporate a comprehensive plan for the repayment of such debts.
The legislative and the administration are primarily responsible for protecting the safety and the dignity of the citizens through appropriate legislation and the development of a framework for its implementation, according to Chief Justice J.S. Verma in Vishakha and Others v. the State of Rajasthan. However, when instances of infringement on people’s fundamental rights occur, some rules should be established to ensure their protection.
At least one person needs access to the courts at some point during their lifespan. The Indian public places a great deal of trust and confidence in the judiciary. The judicial system is a source of authority, assurance, and faith. People cannot independently enjoy their rights and freedom in society without the protection of the court. They hold the court in higher regard than the legislative and executive branches. The judiciary serves a variety of purposes, making it possibly the most significant government institution for Indian residents.
In the words of Prof. Garner, “A society without legislature is conceivable, and indeed, legislative organs did not make their appearance in the state until modern times, but a civilized state without a judicial organ and machinery is hardly conceivable.”
Justice is the heart of the State and must be protected against political meddling.
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