“Once they become judges, they don’t face elections; there is no public scrutiny of judges,” said Rijiju. The given statement was made to remind the judges that their actions are in the public eye and that they were under public scrutiny. Off lately our law minister, the sublime hero from northeast has been winning hearts for showing the mirror to the blinkered senior judges of the Supreme Court. This Supreme Court collegium have self-appointed themselves the right to appoint judges in the High Court. In his immense will, Rijiju has taken matters into his hand to show the true colours of such judges. This matter is essentially central for the well of the public and also for restoring balance of power in Indian democracy. He is definitely a leader with a national impact. He is also supported by Jagdeep Dhankar , the vice president of India. Rijiju has repeatedly called out the self-serving nature of the collegium. As a matter of fact that such self-serving judges fall against the “basic structure” of the constitution, it is sacred to the sanity of the democracy that even parliament cannot amend. While the judges don’t wish to disclose the real definition of “Basic Structure”, D. Y Chandrachud, Chief justice of India opines that it is like the North Star, which is present to guide the Indian constitution. In a recent event at the 18th Nani. A. Palkhivala Memorial organised by the Bombay Bar Association in Mumbai Chandrachud made the given statement “The basic structure of our Constitution, like the North Star, guides and gives a certain direction to the interpreters and implementers of the Constitution when the path ahead is convoluted. The basic structure or the philosophy of our Constitution is premised on the supremacy of the Constitution, rule of law, separation of powers, judicial review, secularism, federalism, freedom and the dignity of the individual, and the unity and integrity of the nation.” It brings me the question that how can one decide which factor is better and which is not?
Another questionable factor is how the collegium has the right to decide its successors without any election process based on experience or education. It, thus abrogates the very basic feature of checks and balances. The so-called North Star doesn’t seem to be guiding. Will these judges not decide the matters about their liking and comfort in their favour? While retd. Justice R.S Sondhi said in one of the recent interviews that only parliament can amend the constitution. He further added in the same Hindi interview that in the concerned matter of judicial appointments, the “…Supreme Court has, for the first time, hijacked the constitution. After the hijacking, they (SC) said: ‘We will appoint (judges) ourselves and government will have no role in it’.” “How can it be that some judges get together to appoint judges? The Collegium system has failed” Since the Supreme Court is appointing the judges, these new judges only come from the High Court. Thus High court judges are only looking up and boot-licking the Supreme Court judges for being picked up. It is because of this the collegium has hijacked the power of appointing new judges so that they can make the aspiring judges dance as per their whims and fancies. The decisions can be moulded as per the convenience or interests of the members of the collegium. The courts have turned into a constitutional coup high jacking the first and foremost basic Act of liberty. While it is a relief to see the law minister the vice president and senior judges of India agreeing to the same and asserting that the same should not be continued for long. It is high time, there should be some sort of open election process for appointing judges in the Supreme Court as well. The collegium needs to wake up to the democratic country that India is. They are constantly under the watch of public. Judges need to face elections as well. This time the government is relentlessly asking questions and the public is making the change.—- INAV