'Change Tareekh Par Tareekh System’: Sanjeev Sanyal On Reforms In Judiciary

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He emphasized the necessity of modernizing the judiciary, stating that failure to do so would impede the country's economic, social, and national progress

Recently, Sanjeev Sanyal, a member of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Economic Advisory Council, advocated for reforms in the judiciary and the collegium system. 

He stated “We will have to change the justice system. Think about this 'tareekh pe tareekh' system. What is this? We say this is from the colonial time. For seventy-five years we have the same system… The High Courts and the Supreme Court take leave in summer and then take leave again in Dussehra. What is this system? They work for a few hours. All these old systems will have to be changed, and modernise it. The government can contribute to this to some extent. But in the end, the justice system will have to do it on its own”.

Sanyal criticized the existing system, including the practice of judges taking extended summer and Dussehra vacations, which he deemed inefficient. He highlighted the need for change, suggesting that outdated practices should be replaced with more efficient and contemporary approaches.

Sanyal also called for a revamp of the collegium system, which currently enables apex court judges to appoint and transfer judges in the High Courts and the Supreme Court. He expressed concerns about the lack of merit-based appointments, suggesting that the current system perpetuates nepotism and favoritism. Drawing parallels with his own role as an advisor to the Prime Minister, Sanyal emphasized the importance of meritocracy in judicial appointments to ensure fairness and competence.

Furthermore, Sanyal underscored the need for societal introspection, particularly regarding the language and norms used within courtrooms. He questioned the traditional honorifics such as "milord," advocating for a more contemporary and egalitarian approach to addressing judges. Sanyal stressed the importance of public discourse and debate surrounding judicial reforms, emphasizing that modernization is essential for national progress. The collegium system was criticized for its lack of transparency.

In an interview with India Today's News Director Rahul Kanwal, Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud cited privacy concerns, arguing that not all aspects of a candidate's personal and professional life can be disclosed publicly during the selection process. He emphasized the need to balance transparency with respect for individuals' privacy, particularly when considering sensitive personal information.

Sanjeev Sanyal's call for judicial reforms, including modernization of the judiciary and overhaul of the collegium system, highlighted the imperative of meritocracy, transparency, and efficiency in the appointment of judges. His remarks underscored the need for a thorough societal dialogue and debate to address these critical issues and propel the nation forward economically, socially, and nationally.

[Inputs: Business Today]