Law and Justice

LEGISLATURE’S INFLUENCE ON JUDICIARY

India is one of the world's largest democracies, and its Constitution contains numerous unique aspects that set it apart from other world constitutions. It is the longest Constitution; it is thorough and extensive because it addresses the complicated and varied circumstances that existed (and continues to exist) at the time of its formulation and adoption after the British awarded India independence. It also established a federal parliamentary system of government with well-defined and delimited functions for the executive, legislature, and judiciary.

The presence of the three systems, namely the legislature, judiciary, and executive, is required to operate a functional democratic government. The Indian Constitution establishes a degree of separation between India's three organs. The separation of powers refers to how the government's political, administrative, and judicial responsibilities are distributed. This concept asserts that each of democracy's three pillars — the executive, legislature, and judiciary – has distinct functions and operates as distinct institutions. The executive has the authority to make policy decisions and put laws into effect. The legislature has the power to enact laws. The judiciary is in charge of adjudicating disagreements. According to the case of keshvananda bharti vs state of Kerala, this doctrine is a part of the Indian Constitution's basic structure.

Despite the fact that all systems are accountable to one another, no system has constitutional supremacy over the others. The legislature, on the other hand, is widely criticised for empowering and influencing the judiciary. According to the accounts since independence, the judiciary has been influenced in some ways, but there have also been instances where even the highest authority in the country has been unable to influence the judiciary. The judicial independence is a constitutional vision enshrined in the Indian Constitution. But even so, our country's political and judicial history tells us of a never-ending battle of the judiciary, in which political influences and prejudices seek to taint the process of dispensing justice.

The term "impeachment" refers to the process of removing judges from office. In circumstances of breach of the legislature's privilege, impeachment of the President, and the dismissal of judges, the legislature also has judicial powers. The criteria for removing a sitting Supreme Court judge are enshrined in Article 124(4). Article 124(4) of the Indian Constitution and the Judges (Inquiry) Act, 1968 govern the procedure for removing a Supreme Court judge. High Court justices can be impeached under Article 218 of the Indian Constitution. Any of the Houses of Parliament can commence removal proceedings against a Supreme Court or High Court judge. A minimum of 100 members of the Lok Sabha or 50 members of the Rajya Sabha may deliver a signed notice to the Speaker or Chairman of the Rajya Sabha. The speaker or chairman may meet with persons and analyse pertinent materials linked to the notification before deciding whether to accept or reject it. As a result, the legislature has the authority to remove judges, who are an important element of the judiciary. This gives us a rough idea of how the judiciary is impacted.

The Constitution does not contain all of the country's laws. Within their separate authorities, Parliament and state legislatures pass legislation on a variety of topics. The Constitution provides a broad foundation for enacting these laws. Under Article 368, only Parliament has the authority to amend the framework. Amendments to constitutional provisions, unlike regular legislation, require a special majority vote in Parliament. The rights of the Parliament to alter the constitution are unfettered under Article 368 in terms of the portions of the constitution they seek to modify. However, giving Parliament complete control over constitutional amendments is risky. The constitution would be reduced to a tool to build Parliament's tyranny, rather than being the backbone of our democracy. The administration will change a number of rules to ensure that its powers are unrestricted. The government has attempted to build a state where the legislature is paramount by several amendments such as the 39th Amendment and the second clause of the 25th Amendment.

A privilege can be described as a unique entitlement or exception. Under the Indian Constitution and in the context of Parliament, the term "privilege and immunity" refers to some unique and extraordinary privileges granted to the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, as well as their individual members, that are generally acknowledged as necessary for the execution of constitutional tasks. Any member of parliament has the privilege of being exempt from what he expresses on the floor of the house, and in the event of detention, whether civil or criminal, no member shall be held accountable and imprisoned for more than 40 days before and after the session of the house. Breach of privileges occurs when an individual or authority fails to acknowledge and undermines any of the Members' privileges, rights, or immunities, individually or collectively, as defined by House rules and regulations. The "keystone" of Parliamentary privilege is the House's ability to penalise anybody who acts in contempt of the House or violates any of its members' privileges. However, whenever such power is exercised, it must always be done in accordance with due process.

Regardless of the constitutional framework, the judiciary's operation is subject to the political sphere's ability to affect it. Scholars have presented trustworthy information on how politicians might influence criminal court decisions. It has been proven that when holding office, winners from the ruling party are 17 percent more likely to have their pending charges dismissed without conviction. Such biases may be the consequence of the judge's personal political allegiance or any political pressure that threatens the judge and his position, according to reports. Threats and political intimidation are used by politicians to affect the court system in some circumstances. For example, Interference with judicial officer transfers, appointments, and promotions. It is suggested that when dealing with less severe criminal offences and in areas with weak judicial systems, political pressure is most successful.

Given the reality of political influence in the court, which is supposed to be immune to such influence, the next question is whether we can remove these effects from the judiciary. In this regard, it's also worth noting that a politicised judicial system has far-reaching ramifications for democracy, as it jeopardises the judiciary's independence, encourages corruption, stifles progress, and feeds a vicious cycle of dishonest politicians entering politics. As a result, it becomes even more critical to find a solid solution. In such a sophisticated and vest democracy, the public's confidence in government institutions is extremely important. People's trust in the quality, effectiveness, and integrity of the organs is eroded as a result of their continuous interference in others' decisions. It stifles democracy's spirit, just as too much concentration of power in government institutions stifles the notion of check and balance. Excessive infringement on each other's jurisdictions can stymie government operations, public service, and general progress.

REFERENCES

https://www.barandbench.com/columns/the-delhi-high-court-in-review-may-2020-part-ii

https://www.lawteacher.net/free-law-essays/constitutional-law/the-process-of-impeachment-of-judges-constitutional-law-essay.php

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/14662049008447580

https://www.jstor.org/stable/41854040?seq=6#metadata_info_tab_contents

https://books.google.co.in/books?hl=en&lr=&id=nNXnAAAAIAAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PA11&dq=Politics+and+Judiciary+in+India&ots=AdifvsdakR&sig=nWsmpV2ykR0Sq0ay0-v9EHMopgw&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=Politics%20and%20Judiciary%20in%20India&f=false

Submitted by Shriya Jain