Judicial evasion is where the Court favours one party to a litigation simply by not deciding a case or when time-sensitive case has been dragged on in a manner that materially affects the situation of the parties.
By the term judicial accountability, it means that the judges are responsible for the decisions they deliver all by themselves. It is the transparency in the decision-making process that helps in bringing the accountability. Every public body is responsible for answering the public for the decision they take and the function they carry out.
Impact of judicial evasion on judicial accountability and the rule of law.
- The court avoids deciding a thorny and time-sensitive question, but its very refusal to decide is, effectively, a decision in favour of the government, because it is the government that benefits from the status quo being maintained.
- Ambiguous judgments primarily benefits the party that has the power to exploit it.
- When the court fails to do so, it abdicates its role as the sentinel on the qui vive, and allows the government to get away with abuse of law.
- Its very refusal to decide is, effectively, a decision in favour of the government, because it is the government that benefits from the status quo being maintained.
- Between the individual and the state, there exists a substantial asymmetry of power. While the violation of rights — whether through executive or legislative action — is relatively costless for the state, it is the individual, or individuals, who pay the price, and who must then run from pillar to post to vindicate their constitutionally guaranteed rights.
- Consequently, a Constitution is entirely ineffective if a rights-violating status quo is allowed to exist and perpetuate for months, or even years, before it is finally resolved
- Longer that courts take to resolve cases, the more we move from a realm of accountability to a realm of impunity.
- By not deciding, the Court is in effect deciding — in favour of one party — but without a reasoned judgment that justifies its stance.
- Electoral Bond scheme
- Making a state into a Union Territory ( ladakh)
- Constitutional challenges to the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA)
Apart from benefiting the party that profits from the status quo — which, as we have seen, is invariably the state — judicial evasion of this kind is also damaging for the accountability of the judiciary itself.
In the absence of a decision, however, while the Court’s inaction plays as significant a role on the ground as does its action, there is no judgment — and no reasoning — that the public can engage with. For obvious reasons, this too has a serious impact on the rule of law.
How to structure:
- Give an intro about judicial accountability and rule of law
- Examine how judicial evasion affects them
- Mention the effects
- Suggest measures and conclude