Appointment of judges can’t be hijacked: Chief Justice TS Thakur
Chief Justice of India TS Thakur on Friday said that process of appointment of judges can’t be hijacked and insisted that judiciary needs to be independent as it plays a role in the eventuality of a “tyrannical regime”.
Thakur’s remarks have come in the wake of increasing tussle tension between the judiciary and government over the appointment of judges for higher judiciary. Both the organs of the State have been blaming each other for the increasing vacancies of judges and to remain within the limit.
Thakur, who was delivering the 37th Bhimsen Sachar memorial lecture in the national capital on ‘Independent Judiciary – Bastion of Democracy, asserted that judiciary cannot depend on executive in choosing judges.
He said judiciary must be independent regarding internal matters of judicial administration, including assignment of cases to the judges within the court, as unless there is an independent judiciary, the rights which are conferred by the Constitution would be “meaningless”.
Thakur who will be demitting office of CJI on January 3 next year, said the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) Act 2014, which was struck down last year by the Supreme Court, was an attempt which would have affected the independence of the judiciary.
He said that independence of the judiciary was paramount for a democracy, and added that judiciary cannot depend on the executive for discharging its duties since the government was the “biggest litigant”, one cannot say that executive can choose the judges to hear a case.
Referring to the NJAC verdict by a five-judge constitution bench headed by Justice J S Khehar who will succeed him as the CJI, Justice Thakur said, “The recent decision by the constitution bench striking down the constitutional amendment by which NJAC was supposed to be set up also goes into all these aspects.”