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12th March 2024 (9 Topics)

Time to prohibit judges from joining politics


The recent resignation of a Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay from Calcutta high court and subsequent entry into active politics has reignited discussions about the ethical boundaries for judges and raised concerns regarding the post-retirement activities of judicial officers. This transition from the judiciary to political involvement has sparked controversy and prompted calls for safeguards to uphold judicial independence and integrity.

Judicial Independence and Post-Retirement Engagements:

  • Controversial Transition: The development has raised concerns about the impartiality and integrity of the judiciary. His past actions, including public criticism of the government and involvement in contentious cases, have added fuel to the controversy surrounding his transition to politics.
  • Ethical Dilemma: The move highlights the ethical dilemma faced by judges regarding post-retirement engagements and political affiliations. Former Union Minister Arun Jaitley's proposition for a cooling-off period for judges underscores the need to address potential conflicts of interest arising from post-retirement appointments or political involvements.
  • Challenges to Judicial Independence: While judges enjoy significant powers and privileges, concerns persist over external influences and pressures that could compromise judicial independence. The Constitution and international declarations emphasize the importance of judicial impartiality, integrity, and dignity in upholding the rule of law.

Call for Judicial Reforms and Accountability:

  • Ensuring Judicial Integrity: The episode underscores the imperative for robust mechanisms to ensure judicial accountability and uphold the sanctity of the judiciary.
  • Need for Proactive Measures: Establishing clear rules prohibiting judges from engaging in partisan politics post-retirement can help maintain the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary.
  • Strengthening Judicial Oversight: The judiciary must proactively safeguard its independence and credibility by enacting judge-made laws to regulate post-retirement engagements and uphold the principles enshrined in the Constitution and international conventions.
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