CJI N.V. Ramana

New Delhi: Chief Justice of India N.V. Ramana has said that people will trust the judiciary only if the courts act independently.

He emphasized that it is the courts that uphold fundamental rights and the rule of law.

The CJI was speaking at the 2nd Comparative Constitutional Law Conversation on Monday, along with US Supreme Court judge Justice Stephen Breyer, who is retiring in the next two-three

“The “job of the judge is not political. Once we have taken oaths on the Constitution, once you start working as a judge, I think politics is no more relevant. It is the Constitution which guides us. This is the principle anywhere,” Ramana said

Ahead of his retirement in August, Chief Justice Ramana said he thinks that 65 years is too early an age for someone to retire.

“Yes, I think 65 years is too early an age for someone to retire. In the Indian judiciary, at the time of joining we know our date of retirement. There are no exceptions. As for me, I am still left with decent amount of energy,” he said.

The Chief Justice also said that the decisions of the Supreme Court on judicial appointments are aimed at sustaining people’s faith and trust.

He added that social and geographical diversity must find its reflection at all levels of the judiciary, and with the widest possible representation, people get to feel that it is their own judiciary.

On judicial appointments, the Chief Justice said: “Interpretation of the constitutional provisions regarding the appointment of judges had to be undertaken by the Supreme Court only when it felt that there was executive over-reach. In doing so, the Supreme Court followed the basic structure doctrine.

“There is an impression that in India, judges appoint judges. It is a wrong impression and I want to correct that. The appointment is done through a lengthy consultative process. Many stakeholders are consulted. The executive is one of the key stakeholders,” he said.

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