By Independence of Judiciary means its independence from the control of the executive and the legislature. This also means a fair, impartial, fearless, and honest judiciary. An independent judiciary alone can do Justice. The Supreme Court and the High Courts administer justice not only between citizens but between ‘Citizens’ and ‘State’. Thus the Independence of Judges is essential for the functioning of a democratic constitution.
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 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 misbehaviour 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 Highest 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 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 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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