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President Kovind cautions judges against ‘indiscreet remarks’ after PM Modi spoke about the ‘separation of power’ between Judiciary and govt

The Indian President pointed out the ever-increasing pendency of cases, thereby adding to the grievances of people and organisations that are seeking for redressal.

On Saturday (November 27), President Ram Nath Kovind suggested changes in the Indian judicial system to clear the rising backlog of pending cases. He made the remarks during his valedictory speech on the occasion of Constitution Day celebrations, which was organised by the Supreme Court of India.

During his address, President Kovind emphasised, “I am of the view that the Independence of the judiciary is non-negotiable. Without diluting it to the slightest degree, can a better way be found to select judges for the higher judiciary? For instance, there can be an all-India Judicial Service which can select, nurture and promote the right talent, right from the lower levels to the higher levels.”

He further added, “This idea is not new and has been around for half a century without being tested. I am sure there can be better ways of reforming the system. Ultimately, the aim should be to strengthen the justice delivery mechanism.”

The Indian President pointed out the ever-increasing pendency of cases, thereby adding to the grievances of people and organisations that are seeking for redressal. “The issue of pendency has ramifications for economic growth and development too. It is high time all stakeholders find a way out by keeping national interest above all,” President Kovind had stated.

While speaking about the cost of justice, he noted that only a small section of Indians can approach the courts. “From lower courts to the Supreme Court, it becomes increasingly difficult for an average citizen to seek redressal of grievances,” he added. President Kovind said that he hoped to see increased access to advisory services and legal aid to common people in the near future.

President Kovind also said that the Judiciary must exercise “utmost discretion” while making comments. He said, “Hence, it is also incumbent upon the judges to exercise utmost discretion in their utterances in the courtrooms. Indiscreet remarks, even if made with good intention, give space for dubious interpretations to run down the judiciary.”

Quoting Justice Frankfurter of the US Supreme Court, the President said, “Courts are not representative bodies. They are not designed to be a good reflex of a democratic society. Their essential quality is detachment, founded on independence. History teaches that the independence of the judiciary is jeopardised when courts become embroiled in the passions of the day, and assume primary responsibility in choosing between competing political, economic and social pressure.”

Earlier, Prime Minister Modi had spoken of separation of powers during his address at a Constitution Day event. He had said, “The government and judiciary are twins as they are born out of the same Constitution. As the nation looks towards the 100 years of Independence in the next 25 years, the government and judiciary must strive with common goals and common mind to meet the aspirations of the people through collective responsibility while keeping with separation of powers.”

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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