DMPQ- . Discuss the constitutional provisions placed to ensure the independence of High courts in India.

The independence of a high court is very essential for the effective discharge of the duties assigned to it. It should be free from the encroachments, pressures and interferences of the executive (council of ministers) and the legislature. It should be allowed to do justice without fear or favour.

The Constitution has made the following provisions to safeguard and ensure the independent and impartial functioning of a high court:

Mode of Appointment

The judges of a high court are appointed by the president (which means the cabinet) in consultation with the members of the judiciary itself (i.e., chief justice of India and the chief justice of the high court). This provision curtails the absolute discretion of the executive as well as ensures that the judicial appointments are not based on any political or practical considerations.

Security of Tenure

The judges of a high court are provided with the security of tenure. They can be removed from office by the president only in the manner and on the grounds mentioned in the Constitution. This means that they do not hold their office during the pleasure of the president, though they are appointed by him. This is obvious from the fact that no judge of a high court has been removed (or impeached) so far.

Fixed Service Conditions

The salaries, allowances, privileges, leave and pension of the judges of a high court are determined from time to time by the Parliament. But, they cannot be changed to their disadvantage after their appointment except during a financial emergency. Thus, the conditions of service of the judges of a high court remain same during their term of office.

Expenses Charged on Consolidated Fund

The salaries and allowances of the judges, the salaries, allowances and pensions of the staff as well as the administrative expenses of a high court are charged on the consolidated fund of the state. Thus, they are non-votable by the state legislature (though they can be discussed by it). It should be noted here that the pension of a high court judge is charged on the Consolidated Fund of India and not the state.

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