India has a single judiciary system, which means the following:
- The Supreme Court is the head of the Indian judiciary and supervises the functions of the lower courts.
- A single civil and criminal system of laws operates all over the country.
- By the way of appeal, cases from the High Court may be taken to the Supreme Court.
Need for Single Independent Judiciary
India has adopted a single independent judiciary because of the following reasons:
- It is important to make the judiciary independent and free from any executive and legislative interference to deliver the rights of individuals.
- An independent judiciary is required for a federal setup as there is division of powers between state and central governments.
- Only an independent judiciary can protect democracy and safeguard the fundamental rights of people.
Independence of Judiciary from Executive and Legislature
The Constitution of India has maintained the independence of the judiciary in the following ways:
- The judges of the Supreme Court are appointed by the President in consultation with the Prime Minister, Cabinet, and other judges of the Supreme Court and the High Court. Thus, both the executive and judiciary participate in the appointment of the judges.
- The procedure to remove the judges is not easy and simple. A judge can be removed by the President only on the grounds of proven misbehavior and incapacity. Charges against the judges first have to be addressed by the President in front of both Houses of the Parliament and have to be passed by two-thirds majorities of both Houses.
- A judge can remain in office till he reaches 65 years of age and cannot be removed from his office except by the process of impeachment.
- The salaries and allowances of the judges are charged upon the Consolidated Fund of India and cannot be reduced to their disadvantage.
- The judges are free to announce their decisions, and their decisions cannot be criticized in public or by the press.
- The Supreme Court can punish a person for contempt of court if he refuses to abide by the decisions of the Court.
- No debate and discussions could be place in the Parliament regarding the conduct of a judge or any decision taken by him in the court.
- Judges are not allowed to continue the practice after their retirement. This provision has been made to ensure that they cannot influence their former colleagues in the judiciary.
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The Supreme Court is the head of the Indian judiciary and supervises the functions of the lower courts. A single civil and criminal system of laws operates all over the country. By the way of appeal, cases from the High Court may be taken to the Supreme Court. Read more