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Courts, Corruption And Judicial System

Corruption is a Cancer: a Cancer that Eats Away at a Citizen's Faith in Democracy, Diminishes the Instinct for Innovation and Creativity- Joe Biden

Corruption in our society is like cancer, which if not detected soon within the time it will surely spread its magliance among the polity of democracy. It shakes the foundation of democracy and the Rule of Law and also a threat to constitutional governance. To detect corruption has always been a big problem. Every state in India has a court where the judges have been given a seat to deliver justice to people seeking it without any fear or threat.

Now the question is that some of the judges have bowed to misuse the powers given to them in the temple of justice as they have no responsibility and deliver judgments under the influence of political leaders and bureaucrats etc by accepting huge amounts of bribe through illegal means because of which the judicial system has become corrupt. The impeachment process is there for the judges which is not possible under The Constitution of India.

History of the judges who were found corrupt

In the year 1949 Justice S.P Sinha of Allahabad High Court was removed under the Government Act 1935, on the basis of his judgement.
In the year 1979 Chief Justice of India permitted the CBI to file a case of Dis-Proportionate Income/Wealth against Chief Justice of Madras High Court Justice K Veeraswami (father-in-law of Mr. Justice V.Ramaswami).

On 3 november 2002, three judges of Karnataka High Court with two female advocates got involved with a women guest at a resort. The police arrived but there was no action taken. Judges were N.S Veerabhadraiah v/s Gopalagowda and Chandrashekariah. Status of the case was- 3 judge enquiry committee appointed by the Chief Justice of India filed its report and clean chit was given.

In September 2009, Supreme Court lawyer Prashant Bhushan in an interview to Shona Chaudhary of Tehelka Magazine said half of the last 19 Chief Justices were corrupt the comment invited the apex court's contempt.

On 17 september 2010 the former law minister Shanti Bhushan created a sensation in the Supreme Court when he moved an application accusing eight former Chief Justice of India corrupt and dared the court to send him to jail committing contempt of court.

Reasons behind Corruption in Indian Judiciary System
Inaccessibility: The judicial system is costly, and it's difficult for the common man to afford it. Normally people find it tough to seek relief, as litigation is time consuming, which is beyond the limits of common people.

Difficult Impeachment process: The Supreme Court of India has ruled that no first information report (FIR) are often registered against a judge, nor, a criminal investigation initiated without an approval of the judge of the Supreme Court. Once appointed, a judge of the supreme court or Supreme Court can't be sacked except by a sophisticated impeachment process, done by members of the Lok Sabha and therefore the Rajya Sabha, the 2 houses of Indian parliament.

Within the 1990s, when the Congress party was in power, a motion seeking to impeach Justice V Ramaswami couldn't be passed by parliament as Congress members of parliament abstained from voting. There are no other attempts at impeachment in India.

Slow and long process: India's system has the most important backlog of pending cases within the world � as many as 30 million pending cases. Of them, over four million are supreme court cases, 65,000 Supreme lawsuits. This number is continuously increasing and this itself shows the inadequacy of the system. It's always been discussed to extend the amount of judges, creating more courts, but implementation is usually late or inadequate. And also thanks to this backlog, most of the prisoners in India's prisons are detainees awaiting trial.

Contempt of court act:

On top of all this protection to the judiciary is that the power of contempt of Court, which has become a potent weapon to suppress public criticism or maybe honest assessment of the judiciary. While deterring people from making unwarranted attacks on the judiciary, the Contempt of Courts Act, has also stifled debate. That's why judiciary's conduct is barely discussed or debated within the media.

Lack of transparency:

the large problem facing the Indian judiciary is the lack of transparency. Right to Information (RTI) Act is completely out of the ambit of the Indian system. Thus, within the functioning of the judiciary, the many issues just like the quality of justice and accountability aren't known properly.

Weak bar bench relation:

Bar bench relations play a crucial role within the administration of justice, the standard of judicial decisions depends on the harmony of the relation between these two authorities. Weak bar association doesn't protect the rights of their clients while on the opposite hand, weak judiciary can't deliver justice to society, therefore the right harmony and balance between bar and bench is in a position to combat corruption.

Weak governments: from the very beginning there's a hidden conflict between governments and therefore the judiciary, governments don't want strong judiciary and time to time judiciary has also prevented governments from her unconstitutional decisions, so this suggests that if the governments become weaker than the likelihood of judicial corruption will increase.

Degradation of nobility and ethical values:

Corruption is caused also as increased due to the change within the value system and ethical qualities of men who administer. The old ideals of morality, services and honesty are considered outdated.

Illiterate and poor people:

The poor and illiterate mens in India with the judiciary results in his reaction that the court-room is an alien-land where procedures and technicalities, instead of truth and morality, rule. it's hard for a standard man to urge past the complicated procedures or the middleman exploiting their ignorance to form money.

Why people pay bribe

Favorable judgment: People pay and offer bribe in court because they thought that by paying bribes it's possible to secure a positive judgment. Media reports show that it's possible in lower court's but things radically improve when it involves the high court's.

Speedy judgement:

there's an enormous backlog of cases in Indian courts which ends up in delayed judgments'. it's quite common for a case to tug on for years. People often need to pay bribes to hurry up the method.

Bail matters:

The judge features a lot of discretion in issuing bail; the rules governing this are fairly basic. it's possible to secure bail by influencing the judge in some cases.

Manipulating witnesses:

As some recent high-profile cases have shown, witnesses are manipulated through money or force into giving favourable testimony.

To influence public prosecutors:
the general public prosecutor is the master of the case registered on the idea of F.I.R or State cases. it's possible to influence Public prosecutors by offering bribes.

Judicial corruption at International Level

Widespread bribery of judges round the world and inappropriate political interference in legal systems deny millions their right to a good and impartial trial, or any trial in the least, says the worldwide anti-corruption group Transparency International.

Suggestions for reducing corruption in judiciary

Use of technology- A review of how court records are handled and therefore the introduction of recent tracking methods can eliminate much of petty corruption existing in lower courts. Websites and CDs can explain basic law to laymen. Court files are often computerized. Video recordings of court proceedings should be maintained.

Reduce the gap Provide alternative methods of dispute redressal to lighten burden on courts.Increase number of judicial officers and number of means courts. Create a vigilance cell for redressal of public grievances.

Making the judiciary accountable Judges must be subject to review. Judges must follow a code of conduct. Bar associations must act against corrupt members. A public body must keep an eye fixed on the judiciary. An Indian judicial service must be created. The proposed National Judicial Commission should have powers to fireside judges. Judges should declare their assets and people of their family.

Introduce Judicial Inquiry and Audit Research Department to enquire into how, thanks to corrupt practices, cases are multiplied or delayed. Contempt of Court Act should be removed or it should be strictly implemented in letter and spirit against corrupt Magistrates, Judges who want only abuse the facility.

Take special measures Appoint Special Citizen Judges (upto age 75) to figure on Saturdays/Sundays, and through Holidays, within the High Courts and Supreme Courts. And, they ought to be paid consistent with their quality and outputs.

There should be Morning Courts from 7.30 to 10.30 AM and Evening Courts from 6.30 to 9.30 PM altogether courts to clear the backlog deliberately accumulated thanks to corrupt practices. Senior Citizens, just like the retired principals, professors, teachers, engineers, managers, law officers, post masters, known social workers, should sit there and eliminate cases efficiently with the assistance of Law, welfare work, Journalism students assisting them. Extending the proper to Information Act to hide the judiciary. Opening judicial vacancies to qualified legal scholars.


On the idea of the above research it's concluded how the corruption has been spread and the way to regulate. Like many other issues facing India, the matter of judicial corruption festers not for want of solutions except for lack of will. Several reform commissions, senior judges, and eminent jurists have laid out detailed proposals for reforming the system from the bottom up. a number of the key suggestions include improvements to contempt of court and impeachment proceedings, improvement of judicial infrastructure, enforcing integrity codes for judges and lawyers, extending the proper to Information Act to hide the judiciary, opening judicial vacancies to qualified legal scholars, create a National judicial commission to bring transparency in judiciary, using alternative dispute resolution mechanisms, and introduction of recent technology. However, reforms are intolerably slow, with the judiciary and executive blaming one another for the delay.

We see that in spite of all the advancements in information and communication technologies changing the lifetime of the people of the country dramatically, the India system still seems like a domineering and pretentious British vestige appearing to belong to an elite class faraway from the people and therefore the country. As a matter of fact, this system of justice is completely out of place and out of your time. Written By: Palak Sinha (Ramaiah College of Law)

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