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Independence of district judiciary is part of basic structure of Constitution: Supreme Court

In this Article, we have discussed the independence of District Level Judiciary, which is a part of Basic Structure.

What is the context?

Supreme Court recently in its judgement held that the independence of the district judiciary is a part of the basic structure of the constitution of India. The Apex Court also held that judicial independence from the executive and the legislature must include that judiciary have autonomy in the matters of finances.

What is the significance of the independence of District Judiciary?

The Apex Court held that without impartiality and independence of judges in the judiciary at district level, may be a preambular goal, it would remain illusory.

What was the case?

There was a case going on in the Supreme Court of India, in a petition filed by the All India Judges Association, the demand raised for the payment of arrears of pension, additional pension, gratuity and other retiral benefits.

What is the significance of the judgement?

Judgement list out the crucial role played by the district level judiciary in the administration of justice. The Apex court held that, the district level judiciary dealt with on an average 11.3 lakh cases on daily basis. During pandemic days, the district judiciary performed all its functions in order to ensure time bound delivery of justice. That feature enhance the trust of the functioning of the judiciary. 

Backbone of Judiciary

District level Judiciary is a vital part of the independent judicial system. Sometimes, the District Judiciary refers as backbone of the Indian Judicial System. Hence it is necessary to secure the rights and independence of District Judges. It is vital to the judicial system to secure judicial independence to enhance democratic values and principles.

Financial Security of District Judicial System

In order to ensure judicial independence at district level, it is important to ensure their financial security and economic independence. Doctrine of Judicial independence also highlighted in the words of – judiciary must possess the inherent power to compel payment of those sums of money which are reasonable and necessary to carry out its mandated responsibilities, and its powers and duties to administer justice, included.

What is Basic Structure Doctrine?

The doctrine of Basic Structure first recognized in the Kesavananda  Bahrti case in the 1973. In this case, the validity of 25th Constitution amendment act challenged in the court, along with 24th and 29th amendment act. In this case by majority, the Apex Court of India overruled the judgement given in the Golak Nath case. The Majority held that, certain features of the constitution cannot be amended even under article 368 of the constitution. These features called as Basic Features of the constitution.