The Chief Justice of India SH Kapadia on Wednesday told the government to be careful while drafting laws on judiciary.
“I request the government to ensure that accountability be balanced with judicial independence. The government may make laws to make the judges accountable. We are not afraid of that. The question is, in that process, constitutional tinkering should be done very carefully,” he said while speaking at the Independence Day celebrations in the Supreme Court.
The remarks came in the context of the controversial Judicial Standards and Accountability Bill. The judiciary has been opposing some clauses in the bill like no judge shall make unwarranted comments against the conduct of any constitutional or statutory institution or official at the time of hearing matters in open courts.
The Bill seeks to repeal the Judges Inquiry Act, 1968, but retain some of its key features like power of Parliament to impeach a judge of the Supreme Court or the high courts.
Justice Kapadia also cautioned judges against judicial overreach, saying that rights and privileges are there for other institutions which should be respected. “We sometimes, in our anxiety to do justice, have disturbed constitutional balance between three branches of governance - Parliament, executive and judiciary. I find balance is getting disturbed by judgments. Judges should be careful while drafting judgments. Parliament has its own right, similarly the executive. Under the Constitution, fine checks and balances are there which need to be respected,” he said.