Jobs for Justice(s): Corruption in the Supreme Court of India

65 Pages Posted: 18 Dec 2017 Last revised: 18 Mar 2020

See all articles by Madhav S. Aney

Madhav S. Aney

Singapore Management University - School of Economics

Shubhankar Dam

University of Portsmouth ; Columbia Law School

Giovanni Ko

Nanyang Technological University (NTU) - School of Humanities & Social Sciences

Date Written: December 13, 2017

Abstract

We investigate whether judges respond to pandering incentives by ruling in favour of the government in the hope of receiving jobs after retiring from the Court. We construct a dataset of all Supreme Court of India cases involving the government from 1999 till 2014, with an indicator for whether the decision was in its favour or not. We find that pandering incentives have a causal effect on judicial decision-making, where we define pandering incentives as being jointly determined by:

1) the salience of the case (exogenously determined by a system of random allocation of cases) and,

2) whether the judge retires with enough time left in a government's term to be rewarded with a prestigious job (since the date of retirement is exogenously determined by law to be their 65th birthday).

We also find that authoring judgments in favour of the government is positively associated with the likelihood of being appointed to a prestigious post-Supreme Court job. These findings suggest the presence of corruption in the form of government influence over judicial decisions that undermines judicial independence.

Keywords: Supreme Court, India, corruption, judicial independence, law and economics, empirical studies

JEL Classification: D73, H11, K40

Suggested Citation

Aney, Madhav S. and Dam, Shubhankar and Ko, Giovanni, Jobs for Justice(s): Corruption in the Supreme Court of India (December 13, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3087464 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3087464

Madhav S. Aney

Singapore Management University - School of Economics

90 Stamford Road
178903
Singapore

Shubhankar Dam (Contact Author)

University of Portsmouth ( email )

Richmond Building
Portsmouth, Portsmouth PO1 3DE
United Kingdom
+44 2392 844260 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.port.ac.uk/school-of-law/staff/professor-shubhankar-dam.html

Columbia Law School ( email )

435 West 116th Street
New York, NY 10009

Giovanni Ko

Nanyang Technological University (NTU) - School of Humanities & Social Sciences ( email )

Blk S3.2-B2
Nanyang Avenue
Singapore, 639798
Singapore

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
610
Abstract Views
2,230
rank
48,588
PlumX Metrics