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Training, Retirement and Removal of Judges in India’s Judicial System

What is the process of Training, Retirement and Removal of Judges in India's Judicial System? NCERT/CUET NOTES

Training, Retirement and Removal of Judges in India’s Judicial System? This question often comes to mind what is the process of training, their retirement and also will the Judges be removed from their position?

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Judicial Training (NJES/NJA)

The National Judicial Academy is a government-funded training institute in India that was established in 1993. Its main purpose is to provide training to Supreme Court and High Court judges, as well as judicial officers. The academy, located in Bhopal with a registered office in New Delhi, focuses on suggesting judicial reforms and offering research support services to improve the efficiency, fairness, and productivity of judicial decisions.

In 2006, the National Judicial Education Strategy (NJES) was introduced as part of the academy’s training efforts. The NJES aims to provide judicial education to High Court judges, District Judiciary, and State Judicial Academies. The training includes conferences, orientations, workshops on core judicial skills and administration, and seminars on substantive law and justice. Additionally, the academy seeks to enhance the online skills registry of Indian judges, enabling them to improve their proficiency and facilitate better access to judicial decisions.


Retirement of Judges

The retirement age for Supreme Court judges in India is 65 years, while High Court judges retire at the age of 62. District Court judges’ retirement age is determined by their respective State Government. The retirement age of judges has been a topic of intense debate in India.

There is a pending bill in Parliament, the 114th Amendment Bill of 2010, which proposes to increase the retirement age of High Court judges to 65. However, the bill has no legal effect until it is debated and approved. The Venkatachalliah Committee, formed to review the Constitution in 2000, also suggested increasing the retirement age of Supreme Court judges to 68. These proposals are influenced by global standards, where retirement ages for judges vary across countries.

By extending the retirement age, there would be greater incentive for advocates to become judges, which could help address the declining quality of judicial service and the workload challenges faced by judges.

Overall, the proposals suggest that increasing the retirement age of judges would address these issues and allow for improved judicial performance.

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Removal of Judges

Judges of the Supreme Court and the High Courts can be removed through a process called as ‘impeachment’. The process for removal of the judges is exactly the same for both the Supreme Court and the High Courts. This has been stated explicitly in the Constitution of India.
As a part of the process of impeachment, an inquiry is made into the grounds of removal of the judges. The grounds for removal include:
(i) proven misbehaviour or
(ii) incapacity.

The inquiry into these grounds is made under the Judges Inquiry Act, 1986. This inquiry is done by a committee of three members, of which two are judges — one from the Supreme Court and second
is the Chief Justice of High Court. If the complaint is against the high court judge then two judges from
the Supreme Court constitute this Committee.

The Chief Justice of India recommends impeachment to the President, and if accepted, the proposal is discussed in Parliament by a certain number of MPs. The impeachment process requires a two-thirds majority in both houses of Parliament. The process is complex and lengthy.

In the history of the Indian judiciary, the impeachment process has been successful only once, resulting in the removal of Justice Soumitra Sen in 2011. There was also an attempt to impeach Justice V Ramaswamy in 1991, but it did not succeed.

For the lower judiciary, the State Government, in consultation with the High Court, can remove District Judges or Additional District Judges from their positions.

Maintaining an impartial, strong, and independent judiciary is crucial for the success of a democracy. Judicial independence and accountability are seen as complementary, and accountability is achieved through processes of selection, discipline, and removal as outlined in the Constitution and statutes. An independent judiciary is essential for upholding the rule of law, as stated by Chief Justice P. Sathasivam in 2014.

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CONCLUSION OF ARTICLE:

1. Training of Judges:

  • The National Judicial Academy is a government-funded institute in India that provides training to Supreme Court and High Court judges and judicial officers.
  • It focuses on suggesting judicial reforms and enhancing efficiency, fairness, and productivity in judicial decisions.
  • The training includes conferences, workshops, orientations, and seminars on judicial skills, administration, and substantive law.

2. Retirement Age of Judges:

  • Supreme Court judges in India retire at the age of 65, while High Court judges retire at 62.
  • The retirement age of District Court judges is determined by their respective State Governments under special service rules.
  • Proposals have been made to increase the retirement age of High Court judges from 62 to 65 and of Supreme Court judges from 65 to 68.
  • These proposals are based on global comparative standards, where retirement ages for judges vary across countries.

3. Removal of Judges:

  • Judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts can be removed through a process called impeachment, which is the same for both.
  • The grounds for removal include proven misbehaviour or incapacity.
  • An inquiry committee, consisting of judges from the Supreme Court and the Chief Justice of the High Court, conducts the inquiry into these grounds.
  • The Chief Justice of India recommends impeachment to the President, and if accepted, the proposal is discussed in Parliament and requires a two-thirds majority in both houses for passage.

4. Challenges and Debate:

  • The process of impeachment is lengthy and complex, and successful impeachments in Indian history have been rare.
  • There have been debates about the retirement age of judges, with proposals aiming to align it with global standards and attract experienced lawyers to judicial positions.
  • The need for an independent and accountable judiciary is emphasized for maintaining the rule of law in India.

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