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Report No. 114

3.6. Preparation of Panel of lay Judges.-

Once nomination was tentatively decided as the method of selecting lay Judges, an authority had to be devised on whom power had to be conferred to select the Panel of Judges. If power is conferred upon an exclusive executive authority to draw up the panel, there was likelihood of overt interference of executive in the selection of judges. If, on the other hand, an exclusive judicial forum was to select members of the panel, difficulty will be experienced in finding out reputable social workers who could be trusted to become lay judges. Judicial fora, by the very nature of their duties, keep away from mass contact. Their sources for information about genuine, honest, social workers would be very limited. The executive, with its vast network of officers right upto the village level and in view of its mass contact would be able to spot persons in rural areas who could be trusted to be judges.

The working paper, therefore, devised a compromise by providing an interaction between the executive and the judiciary in devising the panel. Accordingly, a suggestion was put forth in the working paper that the District Magistrate of the District and the District and Sessions Judge would both form a committee to devise a panel. To exclude any extraneous interference, a further safeguard was introduced in the form of super vision of the Chief Justice in the matter of drawing up of the panel. It was proposed that after the agreed panel, with recommendations, is submitted to the Chief Justice of the State High Court, he, with the assistance of two of his colleagues, would finalise the panel. The approach in the working paper was to exclude extraneous and irrelevant considerations in preparing the panel of lay judges so that the panelists.would inspire confidence of the village community.



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