LET US NOT DEVALUE OUR CONSTITUTIONAL OFFICES
The Indian democracy has endured for six turbulent decades and there is a general agreement that no other political system can hold together a country as complex and as diverse as India. Democracy is the Indian nation's only option, its only hope. We all have a stake in nurturing its institutions and in evolving conventions that strengthen them and raise their status in the eyes of the public. After sixty years of experience of a functional democracy, we are expected to have acquired the maturity and discernment to identify the conventions that have served to sustain our democratic institutions and to segregate the practices that may undermine and corrode them. Against this backdrop, we need to review the system of appointments to high constitutional offices. The process of appointment must be merit-based and transparent, so that it has legitimacy in the public mind. There should be no room for arbitrariness, patronage, nepotism, cronyism and quid pro quo. It is unfortunate that appointments to high constitutional offices have so far been made by the executive behind an iron curtain. No attempt has been made to lay down the qualifications for various constitutional offices and to place the options available for a given selection in the public domain. The executive abhors exposure, because it fears that its actions might not stand a public scrutiny.