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No pressure from government while deciding cases: CJI Chandrachud

Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud said on Saturday (March 18) said that there was absolutely no pressure from the Indian government on how to decide cases. He was speaking at India Today Conclave 2023.

“In my 23 years as a judge of high court, as a CJI of high court, and judge of the Supreme Court, no one has told me to decide a case in a particular way. We are so clear in the principles we follow. I would not even speak to a colleague presiding over a case and ask them what is going on in that particular case. There are some lines we draw for ourselves,” he said, as quoted by India Today.

“There is absolutely no pressure from the Executive,” he said.

CJI Chandrachud spoke on several issues during the event. One of them was the Collegium system that appoints the judges.

Justice Chandrachud put up a stout defence of the Collegium system of judges appointing judges to higher courts, just hours after Law Minister Kiren Rijiju at the same forum again criticised the selection process, asserting that as per Constitution the appointment of judges is the duty of the government. Rijiju also said the appointment of judges was not a judicial work but “purely administrative in nature”.

Justice Chandrachud’s predecessor Justice UU Lalit also supported the Collegium process, saying it was the “ideal system” while another former CJI S A Bobde favoured primacy of judiciary but was of the view that the government’s opinion was vital. The two former CJIs were also speaking at the same event.

“As the Chief Justice, I have to take the system as it is given to us… I am not saying every system is perfect but this is the best system we have developed. The object of this system was to maintain independence which is a cardinal value.We have to insulate the judiciary from outside influences if the judiciary has to be independent. That is the underlying feature of Collegium,” Justice Chandrachud said.

(With inputs from agencies)

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