New Delhi, India, April 12, 2016. LexisNexis®, a leading provider of content and technology solutions for legal, corporate, tax, academic and government markets, launched ‘Appointing our Judges-Forging Independence and Accountability’ edited by Santosh Paul, at Indian Law Institute, on April 11, 2016. Hon’ble Mr. Justice Madan B Lokur, Judge, Supreme Court of India, who was the Chief Guest of the function, released the book in presence of eminent dignitaries like Hon’ble Mr. Justice Kurian Joseph, Judge, Supreme Court of India; Hon’ble Mr. Justice V. Gopala Gowda, Judge, Supreme Court of India; Mr. Fali Nariman, Senior Advocate, Supreme Court of India; Mr. Dushyant Dave, Senior Advocate, Supreme Court of India; Mr. T R Andhyarujina, Senior Advocate, Supreme Court of India; Prof. (Dr.) S Sivakumar, Professor, Indian Law Institute; and many other eminent jurists and academicians.
While welcoming the guests and other dignitaries, Ms. Supriti Narayanan, Associate Director, Content Creation and Acquisition, LexisNexis India, said, “Appointment of Judges has been a much debated subject in India and across the world. Mr. Santosh Paul has in this book has brought forward this debate capturing critical developments culminating in the Supreme Court judgment striking down the 99th Constitution Amendment and the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) Act. This judgment has determined the continuing course of judicial appointments in India, the judiciary’s place in the constitutional scheme and its independence. The book traces legislative and judicial developments through meticulously arranged articles by eminent jurists, judges, lawyers and scholars. His introduction and his analysis of the NJAC judgment make for lucid understanding of the subject.”
Congratulating the author on his achievement, Mr. Fali Nariman wished good luck to the author for his endeavor. He specifically mentioned the front page of the book where the author has dedicated his work to Justice Dorab Framroze Patel, Justice Ghulam Safdar Shah and Justice Mohammad Haleem who in the teeth of a military rule wrote their dissent on February 6, 1979, refusing to convict the deposed Prime Minister of Pakistan, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.
Other distinguished guest of the function Mr. Dushyant Dave congratulated LexisNexis India for publishing this great collection of articles edited by Santosh Paul. He said, “This book is of great use to the lawyers across the country; they would derive a lot of benefit out of it. Legal texts are generally not enjoyable. However, this is an excellent and enjoyable work by the author that can be read at leisure.” He added, “Having an institutionalized mechanism to discuss views and opinions about candidates in a transparent manner will help. A non-compromising, zero tolerance approach to select the best judges is needed.”
Mr. T R Andhyarujina, another eminent guest of honour, mentioned that Mr. Santosh Paul’s book deals with all aspects of the highly contentious subject of judicial appointments. He said, “Most of our best judges in the judiciary undoubtedly came from the earliest system where the President appointed judges in consultation with the Chief Justice. However, overtime the Chief Justice became the appointing authority. In no other system of the world, you find judges appointing judges. On the book, he added, “Character of a judge is very important. This book by Santosh Paul is very useful and encourages a debate on appointment of judges in higher judiciary.”
On the occasion, Prof. (Dr.) S Sivakumar, Professor, Indian Law Institute, congratulated the author on his venture and LexisNexis to facilitate its publishing. He said, “The book is an anthology of articles and papers written by eminent jurists from the Supreme Court and High Courts of India and the United Kingdom, legal practitioners and scholars on the contentious issue of judicial appointments. The author has himself written a chapter on the National Judicial Appointments Commission Act, 2014 – Independence, the Centripetal Force.” He appreciated the hard work put in by the author and the comprehensive research he did for compiling this unique work. The book considers well the mechanism for dealing with the appointment procedure and every step in the judicial appointment.
The author Mr. Santosh Paul said, “The chief purpose of this book is to understand the history of judicial appointments to the higher judiciary in India; the conflicts between the executive and the judiciary and how it shaped the power to appoint; the long and tortuous history to wrest primacy from the executive; the several attempts at creating a wider consultative mechanism and the dangers all along to the independence of the judiciary.” Citing the impeachment of Justice William Douglas on the role of the IB, it exposes the unbounded power of governmental agencies engaged in information and intelligence collection and the devastating effect it can be put into.
Mr. Vikesh Dhyani, Director, Marketing & CDI, LexisNexis India, said, “Set in the backdrop of the National Judicial Appointments Commission Act, 2014, the Constitution (99th Amendment) Act, 2014 and the subsequent plethora of petitions filed challenging its constitutionality, the book explores the pros and cons of both the collegium and the commission system of appointments of judges. It’s a compendium of brilliant articles from eminent national and international jurists, scholars and thought leaders. This book analyses the impact of the Supreme Court judgment and provides relevant extracts for the interested readers. The book will prove to be of great interest and value to jurists, legal professionals, law makers, thought leaders and academia. Experiences from the UK with a successfully implemented Judicial Appointments Commission will benefit the readers with a comparative international perspective.”
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