Judicial Accountability Positions in U.S.A, U.K and in India

Position in U.S.A : 

In U.S.A the Constitution mandates that all appointments to the federal judiciary must receive confirmation by the Senate, the law making body. This procedure lends legitimacy to the appointments. Federal judges have life tenure and barring one case in the recent history no federal judge was removed from office. 

The Judiciary Committee of the Senate plays a vital role in the consideration of the names for appointment as Federal Judges. It takes into account the views of the standing committee on federal judiciary of the American Bar Association. The local Senator of the State to which the proposed candidate belonged also has a role in the appointment. Experience reveals that no proposal would go through successfully if it was opposed by the local Senator. The nominee of the President for appointment to the federal judiciary normally comes out successfully. 

Position in U.K : 

In U.K. appointments are made by the Lord Chancellor who is a member of the cabinet and also presides over the High Court of Judicature. No one has criticized the British Judiciary on the ground of lack of independence because of appointment procedure. In the last 100 years it must be said to the enduring credit of the British Judiciary that there was not even a single allegation of corruption. 

Position in India : 

In the Indian context the position doesn’t appear to be very happy : At least there were two shocking revelations one by Chief Justice Venkat Ramaih and the other by Chief Justice Barucha about the corruption in the Higher Judiciary. What is more intriguing is that neither of them chose to disclose the sources of information and what were the steps taken by them to remedy the situation. 

After the delicate balance between the two wings of the State, Judiciary and Executive was disturbed as a consequence of the Second Judges case, the Executive now is emboldened to ignore any criticism about the judiciary by asserting that that is has no role to play in the selection of judges. 

The subsequent judgment of the seven judge bench headed by Justice Baruca widened the base in the selection of Higher Judiciary by conferring power on the Chief Justice and four other senior judges. The number in the collegiums has gone up but the method remained the same. 

Members of Parliament as well as Central Ministers apart from a galaxy of legal practitioner and academics have voiced criticism about the present method of selection.


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