Book Review: Sudhanshu Ranjan, Justice, Judocracy and Democracy in India: Boundaries and Breaches

Date01 September 2017
AuthorRahul Kumar
Published date01 September 2017
Subject MatterBook Reviews
504 Book Reviews
The merit of the book is to reiterate the importance of public policy as the base
for good governance. The author’s effort is directed towards reconciling the desire
for the best with the demand for authoritative rich material for the readers. This
textbook includes an extensive glossary of terms used in policy studies to better
serve as such a reference to some of the classic works in the field of public policy.
Pardeep Sahni
Chairman, Public Administration Faculty
School of Social Sciences
Indira Gandhi National Open University
Sudhanshu Ranjan, Justice, Judocracy and Democracy in India: Boundaries
and Breaches. New Delhi, London and New York: Routledge, Taylor &
Francis Group, 2016, 28 + 377 pp., `895.
DOI: 10.1177/0019556117720599
Law grows with the growth of society and civilisation. Rule of law and not of
person/s is the key component of good governance. The three principles of natural
justice, namely nemo judex in causa sua, audi alteram partem and reasoned deci-
sion, have been governing the courts across the globe. Truth and justice are two
different things and it has been the primary duty of courts to bring out the truth
and provide justice to the litigants. Along with India in other countries also the
courts and judges are considered the institutions of the highest repute. The
common men always have faith and great expectations from the courts. And when
it is either the High Court or the Supreme Court, the degree of faith, respect and
expectation goes higher in comparison to the lower courts.
But judges are also human beings. The term ‘judocracy’ coined by the author
of the book under review affirms the same. The third chapter of the book, that
is, ‘Appointment of Judges to the Higher Judiciary’, shows the bare reality with
regard to the appointments in higher judiciary. The author has described the
system of appointment of judges in different countries such as the USA, UK,
South Africa, etc. and has reached the conclusion that India is the only country
where judges appoint judges (pp. 208, 209). The author has pointed out that in the
higher judicial appointments in India, there is neither transparency nor is seniority
respected always. The extent of judicial oligarchy goes up to creation of Pathshala
for a particular caste or securing that the chief justice of the High Court should not
be of any other community than the particular one (p. 210). The moral of the story
is that in appointments of judges to the higher courts, the caste and community
bias plays an important role (which obviously remains off the record). The author
has brought ‘off the record things’, ‘on the record’ for the public at large and
exposed them to the public. The vast research of the author could be seen on every
page of not only in this chapter but also on each page of the book. Therefore, in
‘Afterwords’ the author has discussed the appointment of judges in the Supreme

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