Judges should be made more accountable: Prashant Bhushan
Late Mukul Sinha, a human rights crusader and senior lawyer, was awarded second Bhagirath Human Rights Award on Saturday. His wife Nirjhari accepted the award from Supreme Court lawyer and activist Prashant Bhushan during a function at Southern Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SGCCI). The award was given by Bhagirath Memorial Fund Committee set up at Centre for Social Studies in Veer Narmad South Gujarat University (VNSGU).
“Currently, there is one or two percent possibility of common people to get justice from the judiciary. First of all, it is difficult to enter the court for a commoner due to financial constraints and difficult procedures to be followed. If a common person is framed into some false case, like innocent people framed in terrorist cases, they are helpless and majority spend time in jail are undertrails, not convicts,” said Bhashan addressing the gathering.
He also pointed at delayed justice in most cases and wrong judgements before debating on ‘Collegium vs National Judiciary Appointment Commission’.
“Main function of higher judiciary is to keep executive and legislature is check. For this role and many other reasons the higher judiciary should be independent. It is needed that there is no role of government in appointment of judges,” said Bhushan.
“Despite independence, judiciary is not completely free. Government can delay appointments and don’t have complete financial independence. There should be judicial appointments commission that deals with appointments of justice. First they need to decide detailed criteria to be considered while appointing a judge,” he added.
“There is no accountability of judges. There is impeachment possible but it is very lengthy and difficult process. Judges should be made more accountable,” added Bhushan.
While replying to a query from audience about situation during rule of Indira Gandhi and Narendra Modi, Bhushan said, “Indira Gandhi declared emergency and currently people’s fundamental rights are suspended without declaring emergency. Modi is not a democrat and he is stalling appointment of judges,” Bhushan said.
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