Chief Justice of India P Sathasivam on Tuesday said the Central and state governments were free to express their opinions and objections, which would be taken into account, while appointing judges for the Supreme Court and various High Courts in the country.
Speaking at the inauguration of Alternative Disputes Resolution Centre here, he said, though judges were not elected members by the people but lawyers and judges were ultimately accountable to the people. Emphasizing the need for the judiciary to give priority to cases relating to women, children and socially backward communities and minorities, he said he had written to Chief Justices of all High Courts in this regard, after assuming office.
Observing that Alternate Dispute Resolution mechanism should not be taken as only a mode to reduce pendency of cases, the CJI said that it also allowed litigants to reduce misunderstandings among themselves. Stressing the need of judges to be equipped with knowledge in latest technologies, he said it would be required to have both national and international perspective to decide cases in future.
He said the administrative control of High Courts over subordinate judiciary was comprehensive and complete and added that being in the apex of judicial administration of the state, Chief Justice and other High Court judges have a shared responsibility to access performance of subordinate judges periodically.
There was a steady decline in the reputation of judiciary in the country, he observed. Though judiciary was India's most respected institution, unfortunately, there was a steady decline in the reputation of the judiciary as well as the legal profession, he said. He said the judiciary, unlike other institutions in the democratic setup, thrived only on trust and confidence reposed by people and the virtuous image of this institution in the eyes of public was imperative for dispensing justice.