Ad Here  
The king goes fishing while the kingdom is besieged Matchless at 70 Dangal – Breaking all barriers Negative photo finish: Mauled by competition, HPF on the block PSUs - Stem the rot before mergers Multi-party contests, more freebies... In Law WE TRUST; Everything else WE AUDIT Time to Indianise reforms Nissan exit shouldn’t affect ALL DHO saal baad Algebra to algorithms and analytics - a maths marvel at Siruseri The 3 Loves of RT Women can up GDP by 26 per cent! The real hero in India’s battle against black money Welcome Measures. Work for 10X Change Union Budget 2017- It says, let’s continue life the way we live Technology revolution that’ll be disruptive... When the judiciary is hyper active… Nuggets on MGR at Brooklyn Hospital The war against BLACK Creating an innovative society The opportunity to grow is here. Seize it. Metro Rail in Chennai, High Expectations When the setting itself becomes the protagonist MYSORE - INDIA'S CLEANEST CITY Jaya Walks Into the Sunset OPS Rises More than just number crunchers... Cho Ramaswamy – Multifaceted Silver Years of Madras Musings Delay in Neo delivery hurts IndiGo TOP 15 NEWS THIS WEEK Plummeting profits of PSBs JOBLESS GROWTH AND BORDER CHALLENGES.... NEWS SUMMARIES Tragedy in the making Tamil Nadu : 50 Years of Dravidian Rule Welcome focus on Disinvestment Bonanza in locked lands Power Problems Powerful Problems Winds of change PR Person Par Excellence Trail-blazing Tamil Nadu FAREWELL-RBI AUTONOMY Jio Beta Jio Know the Pulse Recalling the birth of Mobile Two welcome indications on chief minister’s recovery New steel policy: Minimum government, maximum intervention? New Chennai Terminal: Next regional hub An eventful week with VVIPs of Delhi TATA STEEL MARCH MEGA MERGERS...... Nutri grains vs staples -The dogma within! Why no MEGA Central investments in Dravidian Party rule? Research for results - A unique industry-institute collaboration Salem steel plant faces brittle future Platinum years of engineering innovation, building skills... The myth and malaise of MRP India bites the BULLET
In Law WE TRUST; Everything else WE AUDIT
In 1947, when India politically broke free of the English Raj, the sun eventually set on the British Empire. Forty-four years later, in 1991, she unshackled herself from Nehruvian socialism to marry market economy. If 1947 was about political freedom, 1991 was about economic reforms.

Some 25 years later, in 2015, if India enjoys a place under the sun, it’s due to that historic decision in 1991 - a unilateral one taken by a semi-retired politician and executed with élan by a retired bureaucrat. The result is there for all of us to see. It has always foxed me that the extraordinary transformation was brought about by a minority government, headed by a leader who lacked mass appeal.

But all that is in the past. Among the several unfinished agenda of 1991 is the one on judiciary reforms. Of course, we also need reforms in the other pillars of our society, viz the executive, the legislature and the media. More of that another day.  One of the perceived first halting steps towards such reforms has come unstuck.

While the criminal justice system in India moves excruciatingly slow, while law grinds the poor and rich men rule the law, the system nevertheless works. If India is still a vibrant democracy, a good amount of credit should go to the judiciary.  Now, it is nobody’s case, including the chief justice’s, that everything is hunky-dory in the corridors of justice. But the question is: “is interference of Executive the way forward?”

The Supreme Court has answered that question with an unequivocal “No.”  It has, by a majority of 4:1, thrown the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) Act, 2014 in the trash can, saying NJAC interferes with autonomy of the judiciary and amounts to tampering the basic structure of the Constitution.

It’s time for you to understand why the Apex Court gave a thumbs down to a key measure of judiciary reforms.


The ‘politicians’ in the Commission

If cleared, the NJAC would have consisted of six persons: the Chief Justice of India, two senior judges of the Supreme Court, the Union Law minister and two ‘eminent’ persons. The two ‘eminent’ persons would be nominated by a committee consisting of the Chief Justice, the Prime Minister and Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha.  Of the two ‘eminent’ persons, one would be from among scheduled castes or scheduled tribes or OBC or minority communities or a woman.  The NJAC’s  job would be to recommend persons for appointment as Chief Justice and as judges of the Supreme Court and of the High Courts, and also suggest names for transfer of judges from one High Court to another. The twist in the tail is that the Commission cannot recommend a person if any two of its members do not agree to it.

Now look at what that means.  For one, the political class could gang up (in India despite the daggers-drawn relationship, politicians party together when it comes to saving their skin) to ensure that the two ‘eminent’ persons are men of their choice. They, along with the law minister, would constitute 50 per cent of the NJAC.  If two of them veto a name, that’s enough to put the name in cold storage.   It may sound like a doomsday prediction, but one cannot rule it out.  India has seen worse things happen, like continuous parliament washouts over the last 11 years.   Little wonder, the Court saw red at the prospects of the NJAC being split down the middle.

At present, judges appoint judges under the  collegium system that has been in vogue since 1993.  This practice had its genesis in three of Supreme Court judgments, collectively known as the Three Judges Cases. Over these three cases, the court stipulated that independence of judiciary means that no other branch of the state – including the legislature and the executive – would have any say in the appointment of judges. True the practice may not be perfect, but the Court seemed to suggest that you cannot throw the baby along with the bath water.


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Author :
Reported On :
Sector :
Shoulder :
IE, the business magazine from south was launched in 1968 and pioneered business journalism in south. Through the 45 years IE has been focusing on well-presented and well-researched articles. When giants in the industry stumbled to keep pace with the digital revolution, IE stayed affixed embracing technology.
Read more
Economist Communications Ltd is committed to ensuring that your privacy is protected.
Read more
You agree that your use of this Website and the purchase of the magazine will be governed by these terms and conditions.
Read more
S-15, Industrial Estate,
Chennai - 600 032.
PHONE: +91 44 22501236