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India’s judiciary is dominated by upper castes, They promotes favouritism and nepotism

No SC/ST judge has been elevated to the Supreme Court in the last 8 years.

India’s judiciary is dominated by upper castes, They promotes favouritism and nepotism

The Data maintained by the Union Ministry of Law and Justice shows that the Collegium, which is responsible for elevating judges to the Supreme Court, has not followed any clear pattern in making its decisions. Either by commission or omission, no SC/ST judge has been elevated to the Supreme Court in the last 8 years. India’s judiciary is dominated by upper castes and out the 28 SC judges of supreme court, 9 are relatives [of judges or legal luminaries]. This promotes favouritism and nepotism”.

The issue of under-representation of lower castes in the judiciary has been raised in Parliament and the National Commission for Scheduled Castes has also stated in no uncertain terms that “a firm policy of reservation is the only remedy”. It also held that “there is nothing in the constitution to support the stand of the government withholding reservation from judiciary. ”

provide justice to the unique factual circumstances

The role of the judiciary is to make decisions in accordance with the letter of the law. While the law formulates general regulations, legislations allow enough discretion to the judiciary to exercise their independent reasoning and provide justice to the unique factual circumstances in individual cases.

It is in exercising this discretion that judges draw from their own worldview and personal experiences. A monolithic, homogeneous worldview of the judiciary would not adequately be able to do justice to our pluralistic society where each citizen occupies a different political position based on different type of hierarchies.

caste plays a major role

In India caste plays a major role in the formation of socio-political hierarchy which has been taken into account in various instances from birth to death of an individual. Judiciary too is not exempted from this bias based on caste. For instance, it has been observed by many that the low rates of conviction for crimes committed against members of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe communities is considerably due to the privilege of the largely upper-caste judiciary which does not understand the routine violence and systemic oppression meted out to lower caste communities.

Many researches have also revealed that marginalized socio-economic sections especially SC and ST persons are more disparately impacted by death penalty convictions. Taking these inferences, this paper attempts to evaluate the statistical representation of judges from SC and ST communities in judiciary and tries to analyze whether their under representation/absence has any impact in judgment delivery mechanism of courts.

This paper also critically looks at how caste played a decisive role in appointment of judges to Supreme Court of India, based on Indian legal history and puts forward a new way out to have adequate representation of these depressed communities based on international practices followed in judicial appointments.

Reference- Round table India, The print, Buzzfeed India


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