Judiciary vs Govt: Set aside egos, resolve issues, Justice Hegde says

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Bengaluru, Aug 13: The confrontation between the judiciary and the government is once again out in the open. On Friday, Chief Justice of India T S Thakur pulled up the government twice, first for not filing an affidavit and again within hours for not clearing the appointments of High Court judges.

The two pillars of democracy have been on a war path ever since the Supreme Court struck down the National Judicial Appointments Act as unconstitutional.

Also read: SC slams govt: You criticize courts for pending cases, but you don't even file an affidavit

Judiciary vs Govt: Set aside egos

The SC directed the government to come up with a memorandum of procedure (MoP) to ensure transparency in appointment of judges. However, both the judiciary and the government are stuck in a loop, with contentious issues cropping up as neither party seems willing to come to an agreement.

"It looks like a clasn of egos to me" says Justice Santhosh Hegde, former judge of the Supreme Court of India.

Speaking to OneIndia, Justice Hegde said the two sides should stop exchanging curt letters and instead sit across the table and talk.

Also read: Are you trying to bring judiciary to a halt, CJI asks Modi govt

Stop exchanging letters

"It is not a question of who wins and who loses. It is about the larger interest of litigants and the institution", Justice Hegde said. "Judiciary is one institution that people had faith in. If the judiciary-government confrontation continues, there will be further delays in the disposal of justice. That will erode that faith in the institution of judiciary," Hegde added.

Timely judicial appointments is the need of the hour, the former Karnataka Lok Ayukta said, pointing out that already cases drag on in courts for as long as 14 years. There are already some four million cases pending in courts across the country.

Also read: Judges appointment: It's now war between Chief Justice Thakur and Modi govt!

"Egos must be set aside. The confrontation since the striking down of the NJAC Act must be resolved", he urged.

Reduce appellate courts

Pointing out an important issue, Justice Hegde suggested that a two-court system -- the trial court and the High Court -- system should be brought in and the number of appellate courts cut down to ensure speedy justice and disposal of cases, while the Supreme Court should deal primarily with matters of
Constitutional significance.

"Why should there be so many appellate courts? There should be a two-court system -- the trial court and the High Court. The Supreme Court should only deal with larger issues and hear matters relating to the Constitution, interpretation of the statute, matters of national security, death sentences and criminal cases where sentences of more than seven years are awarded", Justice Hegde said.

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