Former Chief Justice of the Orissa High Court, Justice S Muralidhar on Thursday stressed the significance of the judiciary's role as a counter-majority organ within the State. .Justice Muralidhar said that the judiciary should pay the role of a counter-majority organ which not simply defer to the visions of the majority.It should instead uphold justice impartially and fearlessly."The judiciary has to be a counter majority organ of the state where it doesn't always simply defer to what it sees as visions of the majority at any given point," he said.He further emphasized that for the judiciary to function effectively, it must be free from political and executive pressures.In this regard, he drew attention to internal pressure within the judiciary, originating from senior judges or other members. He stressed the importance of addressing this internal pressure, which could significantly affect the judiciary's independence."The last is very important. It is the internal pressure of judges. This internal pressure which could come from senior judges or other members of the judiciary is something that badly affects the independence of the judiciary. We don't talk much about this," he said.The ability to decide without any political pressure or pressure from the executive is an essential facet of functional independence of the judiciary, he underscored..Justice Muralidhar was speaking on the topic 'Independence of Judiciary' at an event organized by the Academy for Advanced Legal Studies and Training at the Kerala High Court.He delved into the challenges faced in the appointment of judges, both pre and post-collegium . He noted that these challenges persist and require comprehensive solutions that align with the objectives set by Dr BR Ambedkar, who advocated for an independent and competent judiciary."I will begin with what Justice Ambedkar said. He said that there can be a difference of opinion in the house that the judiciary must be both independent of the executive and must also be competent in itself; and the question is how these two objectives can be secured," Justice Muralidhar stated.He stressed the fundamental importance of impartiality and fearlessness in judicial function, highlighting that fear doesn't always manifest as physical threats but also as various pressures placed on judges."An essential facet of judicial function is impartiality and fearlessness. The fear is not always the physical threat but it is the pressures brought to bear upon judges. If justice has to be done we should be free of pressures," he said..The issue of "independent independence" and the security of tenure for judges was another aspect he explored. He acknowledged that despite safeguards, the process has failed at times."Then we have independent independence. removability from office. One of the protections we have as HC and SC judges is the security of tenure and removal only by a very elaborate process. Of course that has failed time and again but I will come to that later," he stated.Financial autonomy was also another concern raised by Justice Muralidhar. He explained the financial structure in India as per which the judiciary's budget depends on State government approval and funding release. This situation often leads to uneven development of judicial infrastructure across different States, Justice Muralidhar opined.