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Report No. 80

2.7. Earlier Law Commission's observations.-

Dealing with appointment of judges on consideration other than that of merit, the Law Commission headed by Shri M.C. Setalvad in its Fourteenth Report observed:1-

"The selection of a person on considerations other than of merit has far-reaching repercussions. Such a Judge would naturally not receive from members of the Bar, who would be no strangers to his capacity, the full measure of co-operation which is needed for the proper administration of justice; not would a Judge so appointed generally have that amount of confidence in himself which alone can contribute to the efficient discharge of his duties. These circumstances are bound to affect adversely the quantity and the quality of the work turned out by such a Judge. It is axiomatic that the lowering of judicial standards must adversely affect the efficient administration of justice. It has been stated in some quarters that the larger the number of Judges, the lower is the proportionate output of work. We are of the view that such a generalisation is not based on any acceptable data; but what seems to have led to lower output of work by Judges is the appointment of persons who are not satisfactory.

Whether a Judge of a High Court is selected from the Bar or from the service, he should be the fittest person available to hold that office. If this cardinal principle is over-looked in making the appointment and persons of indifferent capacity are appointed, the work turned out by such persons will naturally not come up to the proper standards. If, therefore, there has been in some cases a proportionately lower output of work when a larger number of Judges are appointed, the fall in the work is clearly attributable to the circumstances that the persons added were not fitted for the office. The inevitable effect of appointments of this character to the High Court Bench on the disposal of work and the mounting arrears is obvious."

1. 14th Report, Vol 1.



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