18 Sep : The Association of British Scholars in association with Department of Laws, Panjab University, Chandigarh organised a one day seminar on “Judicial Accountability” in the ICSSR complex today, i.e.18th Sep. 2010. The main speaker of the seminar was Justice Jawahar Lal Gupta, Former Chief Justice of Kerala High Court.
Professor Paramjit S Jaswal, Chairperson, Department of Laws, P.U.Chandigarh while introducing the subject said that if study the annals of history of independent India, we notice that when other two organs of the state,i.e., Legislature and Executive have failed in discharging their duty, the judiciary stepped in providing socio-economic justice to the people. But the judiciary also is not above the Rule of Law and it must be accountable to the people whose faith it carries.
Justice Jawahar Lal Gupta in his illuminating lecture highlighted the contribution of judiciary in different spheres and in the evolution of law such as curative petition. He emphasised that accountability is a must for improvement of the justice delivery system. According to him, the courts are like open air theatre and judgements delivered by them are subject of public scrutiny. Judges are sentinels of public faith and protectors of human rights of the people. Justice Gupta explained that outdated laws, lack of infrastructure and financial constraints are like speedbreakers in justice delivery system and responsible for the judicial delays. He poited out that the impeachment procedure is suspected but you cannot blame the judiciary for that. The impeachment power has been used very sparingly the world over. In U.K. the first judge was impeached in 1376 and the last one was in 1806. In USA, he poited out that only 14 judges have impeached by the Cogress till date. He explained that no system of selecting the judges is fool proof but the need of the hour is that the judges should be selected keeping in view their value and merit. Regarding the recent controversy that many of our Chief Justices were corrupt, Justice Gupta poited out that since the matter is sub judice, he would not like to make any direct comment. However, he was hopeful that the truth will come out. The lecture of Justice Gupta was followed by a healthy discussion on the topic and Justice Gupta replied to the satisfaction of all.
Dr. Balram K. Gupta summed up the theme of the seminar. He stated that the judiciary is the island of hope for the future and proposed a vote of thanks to all.