In My 24 Years as a Judge, I Have Never Faced Any Pressure From Government: CJI Chandrachud

In a candid session at the Oxford Union, Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud addressed questions concerning the alleged political pressures faced by the judiciary, particularly in recent years. Responding to inquiries, he firmly stated his independence throughout his 24-year tenure as a judge, underscoring that he has never succumbed to any form of governmental pressure.

“Political pressure, if you mean any kind of pressure from the government, then I must tell you, in my 24 years as a judge, I have never faced any,” Chandrachud asserted during the discussion. His comments come at a time when the independence of the judiciary is often scrutinized in public discourse.

Chief Justice Chandrachud also elaborated on the broader sense of political pressures that judges might perceive, noting that it is essential for a judge to be aware of the potential political implications of their decisions. This awareness is crucial in maintaining the delicate balance between judicial responsibilities and external perceptions.

Further addressing the challenges within the Indian judiciary, Chandrachud highlighted the stark disparity in the judge-to-population ratio in India compared to other countries. “Given our population, the number of judges in India is significantly low, possibly the lowest ratio when compared internationally,” he commented. He advocated for an increase in the judicial strength at all levels, a topic that he revealed is currently under discussion with the government.

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Amidst rising concerns over social media’s impact on public perception of justice, the Chief Justice pointed out that the platform often poses challenges for judges. He lamented the misrepresentation of judicial comments and the undue criticism that follows, stressing the complications it introduces for the judiciary.

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