In a democracy, in a model judiciary who all would be eligible to adjudicate the judicial seat? To find out the answer to this question, if we would take the help of the most ancient democracy in the world, then the picture that comes in front of us seems as unnatural as it is illogical. The first democracy in the history of the world was established in 507 B.C. in the Greek City of Athens.
In the language of the ancient historian Herodotus, what is the most wonderful character of democracy is equality before the law. But the equality that Herodotus praised so much did not apply to every Athenian. For example, in the middle of the fourth century B.C. out of the total 2,60,000 Athenians, about 1,50,000 were slaves, 10,000 were outsiders and the number of pure citizens was only 1,00,000. Only the citizens of these three classes could participate in the famous direct democracy of Athens, but it was not open to all one million citizens as well. Out of these, only men over the age of 18, or only 40,000 citizens were able to participate in the process of democracy.
The third of the three basic institutions of democracy there was the Decastetia or Judiciary. According to Aristotle, the Decasteria was the main foundation of Greek democracy because the chief justices enjoyed unbroken power. Let’s go back to the first question, how these judges were selected. A related question to this one may also be asked following the famous statement of Lord Acton, didn’t their absolute power give birth to this corruption?
The answer to both these questions was found by the worshipers of the democracy of Athens of that time were able to find in the glory of democracy that Herodotus had admired such a way; Equality Before the Law. As per this law, every citizen has an equal right to become a judge. So out of all the above 30-year-old citizens, more than 500 were selected to work as judges on that day in the lottery. It is needless to say, bribery is naturally impossible in this process. Can you think of an institution more democratic than this? But is it possible to consider the formation of a judiciary that is even more democratic?
India has always been proud to be the largest democracy in the world. As the democracy of ancient Athens, here, also, the judiciary is the main source of the power of our democracy. It is well known that unfortunately, the judiciary of our country is full of both qualitative and quantitative loopholes. One of the main reasons for these weaknesses and loopholes is how the selection and appointment of the judges are followed in our judiciary. It can be imagined through this argument that should the world’s largest democracy follow the process as the ancient democracy in the world to overcome this weakness and improve it. In support of this Athenian approach, is it not true that in the constitution of independent India, that high ideal law of Herodotus is not given a special place of worship in the eyes of equality? Not just one or two, from articles 14 to 16, consecutively three articles in the Constitution has been dedicated to this God of equality. If we follow ancient Athens, shouldn’t every citizen of this country be given a chance to sit in the judicial seat?
Of course, No one would be there who would not think of this proposal as crazy and impractical. The most visible of the many reasons for this proposal being impractical is that we have more than one hundred million citizens. If this proposal seems impractical to us, and it is impossible to follow the model of a small nation like Athens, then what should be our best second choice method? Perhaps no one will doubt that the judicial selection and recruitment process should be based entirely on the qualifications and skills of the candidates. In the aftermath of Independence, the home minister Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel also tried to introduce such a system. He also proposed at the then provincial prime minister’s conference in 1946 to create a meritorious all India judicial service, such as the meritorious Indian admins
In the aftermath of Independence, the home minister Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel also tried to introduce such a system. He also proposed at the then provincial prime minister’s conference in 1946 to create a meritorious all India judicial service, such as the meritorious Indian administrative service and Indian police service. For various reasons of reasons, Sardar Patel’s dream has remained a dream. There has been news published regarding the establishment of all Indian judicial services and the central government is seeking opinion on this from the oppositions, is satisfying to know. Even though this step doesn’t turn us into a pure democracy like Athens, it will help to overcome a major weakness of the largest democracy.