ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Appointments, Autonomy, and Accountability of Appellate Courts

A Battle of Three ‘A’s

Independence and Accountability of the Indian Higher Judiciary by Arghya Sengupta, Cambridge, New York, Port Melbourne, New Delhi, and Singapore: Cambridge University Press, 2019; pp xviii + 317, price not indicated.

There has been much debate among the legal and constitutional elites concerning judicial appointments and accountability, and there is almost a consensus that “something” needs to be done. But, that agreement on what that “something” may be has, so far, proven elusive in intra-constitutional elite debates. The masses of India, in the meantime, have been engaged in the people’s struggle for democracy, rule of law, and justice at the grass roots.

This struggle involves at least: (i) expeditious and equitable adjudicative relief; (ii) immunity from arbitrary and often politically orchestrated harassment of ordinary citizens at the hands of security officialdom; (iii) access to justice, that is to courts, lawyers, and to other infrastructures of dignity and other ­human rights; (iv) determined action to end long pre-trial detentions; (v) timely action to lodge first information reports and speedy investigations and trials; (vi) amelioration of horrible conditions in jails and lack of bail; and (vii) expeditious endeavours towards suitable restitution and rehabilitation for wrongful trials, torture, and other acts of cruel and ­unusual punishment and degrading treatment. One can, and should, expand this listing, for example, to the rights of people living with disabilities (Shourie 2018; Dhanda 2007; Baxi 2018).

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Updated On : 10th May, 2020

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