Advertisement
Tuesday, Oct 26, 2021
Outlook.com

Courtroom Scoresheets

Judicial performance evaluations for higher judiciary can help identify bottlenecks, improve judgments and accountability

Courtroom Scoresheets
Courtroom Scoresheets
outlookindia.com
2021-02-20T13:19:40+05:30
  • 1,194 Cases heard
  • 99 Pronouncements

***

Recently, in an unprecedented move, the Supreme Court collegium withdrew its recommendation to make an additional judge of the Bombay High Court a permanent one. The withdrawal followed two decisions by the Bombay High Court judge which, in addition to being bad in law, were publicly criticised by scholars and practitioners alike. The jury is still out on whether the collegium was right in intervening in the way it did. However, what transpired does point to a larger systemic problem—the absence of a performance evaluation mechanism for India’s higher judiciary.

While the district judiciary is subject to periodic assessments through a system of ‘Annual Confidential Reports’, no such system is in place for the higher judiciary; even though judicial performance evaluations (JPEs) have been regularised in other jurisdictions. Interestingly, the judiciary under the eCourts Project, which aims to ensure Information and Communication Technology (ICT) enablement of the judiciary, has introduced the Justis application to help judges evaluate their own performance. However, there is not enough information to determine its inner workings or extent of use. Therefore, even though the judiciary might be in possession of the required data, the lack of performance evaluation systems compromises the legitimacy of collegium recommendations and the faith that the public has in the judiciary as an institution.

ALSO READ: Free Or Fettered?

In the past, the Indian jud­iciary has been resistant to enforcing performance standards. In 2001, Madhu Trehan, then editor of the Wah India...

Advertisement

Outlook Newsletters

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Read More from Outlook

A Message Not Delivered, A Matisse Painting Never Gifted: A Co-Star’s Tribute To Shah Rukh Khan

A Message Not Delivered, A Matisse Painting Never Gifted: A Co-Star’s Tribute To Shah Rukh Khan

Sayani Gupta, a star-struck teenager who acted with SRK, reveals what endears the superstar to his millions of fans across the globe.

In Valley, Amit Shah Says No To Talks With Pakistan, Yes To Dialogue With J&K People

In Valley, Amit Shah Says No To Talks With Pakistan, Yes To Dialogue With J&K People

National Conference president Farooq Abdullah Sunday called for talks with Pakistan for the sake of peace in the region.

IPL: RPSG Group, CVC Capital Win Bids To Own New Teams

IPL: RPSG Group, CVC Capital Win Bids To Own New Teams

RPSG Group will be based in Lucknow while CVC Capital will have Ahmedabad as their base city from IPL 2022.

With Lalu, TMC Taking Potshots At It, Congress Faces Trouble From Anti-BJP Regional Parties

With Lalu, TMC Taking Potshots At It, Congress Faces Trouble From Anti-BJP Regional Parties

The challenge Congress faces at present is it has to fight not just internal dissidence and the BJP but deal with anti-BJP regional parties, who are no longer seeing it as a viable ally.

Advertisement