Debating collegium system; Baby steps of COP27; Preventing WWIII

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Opinion Watch

Debating collegium system

Standoff between the Supreme Court and Narendra Modi-led NDA government is well known, leaving vacancies in the apex court and High Courts. The legislature laments impulsive trashing of the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) by the Supreme Court.

The Pioneer in its Editorial has taken note of the newly appointed Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud striking a conciliatory note on the issue of the collegium system. Writ petition seeking revival of the NJAC is already pending before the apex court. The Noida-based daily gives a throwback of the NJAC, which was pushed through the Ninety-Nine Constitution Amendment Act, with the appointing body to consist of Chief Justice of India, two judges, the Law Minister and two eminent persons.

The daily lists out government arguments – judges appointing judges, toxic politics in judiciary, opaqueness in selection process. Chandrachud’s predecessor UU Lalit had called the collegium system perfect. But the incumbent CJI, who has a tenure of two years, is open to the idea of debate. This should help bridge divide between the judiciary and executive. But there must be zero control of the executive over the judiciary, but accountability must be fixed, which should be transparent and there be larger scope for the public scrutiny, which may also include the applicability of the Right to Information Act (RTI).

Baby steps of COP27    

The COP27 has concluded at Sharm el-Sheikh on a familiar note, with the lone bright spot of the agreement on the financing of loss and damage. This is not new, as the Paris Accord too had committed to such an idea. The framework is based on consensus that may pose a challenge going forward in concretizing the loss and damage plan.

The Times of India in its Editorial on the lines of similar commentaries in most of the dailies has given the scale of challenge awaiting the nation to arrive at a consensus on the rollout of loss and damage. The climate mitigation efforts alone may cost $4-5 trillion, which is close to the size of the economy of Japan. Additionally, the US, the second largest polluter after China, had been a compulsive naysayer, while incumbent President Joe Biden has sought to commit to the climate action efforts.

It may be noted that the climate action leadership during COP27 has gone to small island nations and visible victims such as Pakistan, who stepped up the campaign for the developed world to pay the damages for the mitigation efforts. The Nordic countries pushed for strict commitment to keep global average temperature to 1.5C from the level of the pre-industrial time.

Preventing WWIII

Death of two persons in Poland by a missile attack had sent the G7 heads of the states in a huddle in Bali, Indonesia on the last day of the G20 Summit. The Hindu in its Editorial has urged upon Russia to open the communication channel to ensure that there is no scope for an accidental flare up of war. Europe has a history of accidental flare up. The Chennai-based daily gave an account of the Ukrainian anti-missile landing in Poland, a NATO nation, even while Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy had swiftly blamed Moscow for the missile landing in the Polish territory.

The daily lauded the US President Joe Biden and the leaders of other NATO nations for acting responsibly during the tensed hours, while calling Zelenskyy’s statement irresponsible, besides urging upon Moscow to put in place guardrails against any accidental mishaps. The West too should be cautious about Ukraine’s reluctance to open dialogue and persuade Zelenskyy to open the window of negotiations.

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