Topic: Structure, organization and functioning of the Judiciary.
3) Discuss the nuances of the in- house power of inquiry of the supreme court of India. How is it an exercise of moral authority ? comment.(250 words)
Why this question:
The question is in the backdrop of the investigation of sexual harassment allegations against Chief Justice of India by an in house three-member committee headed by Justice Bobde. It is important that the procedure followed in this case is carefully deliberated upon to ensure that it is fair, just and reasonable
Key demand of the question:
The answer must discuss in detail the process of inquiry under the In-House Procedure.
Discuss – This is an all-encompassing directive – you have to debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You have to give reasons for both for and against arguments.
Comment– here we have to express our knowledge and understanding of the issue and form an overall opinion thereupon..
Structure of the answer:
Brief upon the scenario.
- Elaborate of what is Inquiry under the In-House Procedure?
- The ‘In-House Procedure’ is specifically designed to deal with charges of misconduct against sitting judges of the court. It requires the Chief Justice of India to constitute a three-member panel of Supreme Court judges to enquire into a complaint of misconduct received by the CJI against a sitting judge. The CJI is further tasked with supervising and enforcing the outcome of this inquiry. The procedure, however, does not expressly provide for a mechanism to constitute a committee when the complaint is against the CJI himself.
- Provide for pros and cons associated with such a system of inquiry
- Discuss what are the issues and concerns involved?
- Suggest what should be done ?
Conclude that With institutional integrity at stake, the court must ensure that this inquiry instils confidence in the ability of formal institutional mechanisms to sensitively and fairly address sexual harassment. The Supreme Court must lead by example and abide by the principles that are expected to be followed for every other body inquiring into sexual harassment at the workplace.