No institution including collegium is perfect in a constitutional democracy: CJI Chandrachud

New Delhi. Chief Justice of India (CJI) D.Y. Chandrachud said on Friday that no institution, including the collegium, is perfect in a constitutional democracy and the solution is to work within the existing system. Speaking at the Constitution Day function organized by the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) here, Chief Justice Chandrachud said that judges are loyal soldiers who enforce the Constitution. The Constituent Assembly adopted the Constitution on 26 November 1949 and this day was celebrated as Law Day before the year 2015, but from 2015 it is celebrated as Constitution Day.

On the issue of the Collegium, the Chief Justice said, “Finally, the criticism about the Collegium. I thought I would reserve the best for the last (thing). In a constitutional democracy no institution is perfect, but we work within the existing framework of the constitution. All the judges of the Collegium, including me, are loyal soldiers who enforce the Constitution. When we talk about loopholes, our solution is to work within the existing system.

He said that bringing good people in the judiciary and giving them higher salaries will not improve the collegium system. The CJI said, “The president (of SCBA) has raised a question about good people. Getting good people into the Judiciary, getting good lawyers into the Judiciary is not just a task of reforming the collegium. Making a judge is not related to how much salary you pay to the judges. No matter how much you pay judges, it will be a fraction of what a successful lawyer earns in a day.

The CJI said that people become judges for a sense of commitment towards public services. He also said that becoming a judge is a call of conscience. Emphasizing on the need to make judicial offices attractive to young lawyers, he said that we have to ensure that young lawyers are mentored by judges. Justice Chandrachud said that the Constitution is constantly evolving to meet the new social realities of the times. He said that the Judiciary and the Bar are equal stakeholders in the mission of providing justice to the common citizens.

Justice Chandrachud said, “The faith of our citizens in the judicial process is also determined by how efficient we are, the way we organize our work in our judicial institutions. This is not only in the context of the important judgments that we give, but also for the citizens what ultimately matters is that their cases are heard by the court.” Requesting to contest the charges, he said that the process can be institutionalized and he is ready to negotiate on it.

Rethinking the dress code of lawyers
Justice Chandrachud also said that the legal profession needed to shed its colonial base and the strict dress code of lawyers (especially in summers) could be reconsidered. He said, “I am thinking of making the dress compatible with our life, season and time. There should not be strict moral surveillance of women lawyers on dress.

Tags: CJI, Collegium, New Delhi news, supreme court

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