Friday, August 19, 2011

Justice Soumitra Sen of the Calcutta High Court is one step closer to becoming the first judge to be removed from office by Parliament. We sit on the verge of constitutional history, and yet, no one seems to care about the possible pitfalls of taking the unprecedented step of removing a High Court judge.
While I am all for steps against corruption, and have always felt not removing Justice Ramaswami was a huge blunder for Parliament, what I fear is that the clipped wings of the Legislature and the Executive may begin reasserting itself, trodding unceremoniously on the independence of the judiciary. The step of removing a judge from office was considered extreme by the Legislature, back in the day when the Executive had complete control on appointment of Chief Justices.
Anyone with a good knowledge of constitutional history would remember the superseding of judges controversy post-Keshavanda Bharati judgement. The three seniormost judges who decided for the majority were passed over for appointment as CJI - Shelat, Grover and Hegde - and the judge who decided in favour of government - A.N. Ray - was appointed as CJI. Again, after his much praised dissenting opinion in the Habeas Corpus case, Justice H.R. Khanna was passed over for appointment in favour of Justice Beg.
The power to interfere with the judiciary was rightfully taken away, as the judiciary reasserted it's independence in matters of appointment. However, as Parliament's confidence grows with the possible successful removal of a High Court judge - who's to say that this won't be the Parliament's new weapon against a proactive judiciary?
That being said...if Justice Sen does get removed, it is much deserved, as he was known as a corrupt judge. However, it doesn't end with him, as Justice Dinakaran must be removed too, in order to ensure the judiciary is cleansed of its filth.


Blogger The Sentinel said...

Nice to see you mentioned the infamous supersession of April 1973. Ray was only given preference because of his earlier opinion in the Government's favour in the Bank Nationalisation Case. He was a loyalist for them. Shelat and Hegde deserved to be CJI after Sikri, but then again, nothing beats the treatment meted out to H.R. Khanna. He was always waging a lone battle.

1:05 PM  

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