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

Judicial independenceSubscribe to Judicial independence

Of Judicial Courage in Testing Times

With respect to the independence of the judiciary, there is a tendency to conflate the independence of the institution with that of the individual in the institution. An independent judiciary requires not only systems and norms designed to prevent interference but also individuals prepared to uphold such independence at great cost. One such individual was Justice Syed Mahmood who served in the Allahabad High Court during British Rule.

Taking Human Rights Seriously

The appointment of the new NHRC chairperson raises several questions.

 

The Supreme Court

There is a tendency to view the threat to judicial independence in India as emerging from the executive branch, and occasionally the legislature. But when persons within the judiciary become pliable to the other branches, it is a different story altogether.

Supreme Court's Seniority Norm

Given that the Chief Justice of India composes panels and assigns cases to judges, unlike in systems where cases are randomly assigned to avoid bias or where apex constitutional courts sit in plenary sessions, the question of how the CJI is appointed is crucial. This article seeks to answer this question by empirically investigating whether the seniority norm existed prior to the establishment of the Supreme Court of India - specifically, in the high courts of Bombay, Calcutta, Madras, Allahabad, Patna, and in the Federal Court of India.

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