PERSPECTIVE
LACK OF ERUDITION
My Lords, Conduct Yourselves With Dignity In Court
- Markandey Katju
My Lords, Conduct Yourselves With Dignity In Court



A SENIOR Supreme Court Judge of India recently lost his temper in Court at a senior Supreme Court lawyer, allegedly because the latter was repeating an argument which had already been made by another lawyer in the same case, and at his retort.
 
The Judge reportedly threatened to take contempt of court proceedings against the lawyer and convict him. At this remark, the senior lawyer walked out of the courtroom, obviously since he could not bear the insult.

I am in America presently and I read about the incident on the internet. So I sent an email to the senior lawyer concerned asking for his version, but he did not respond.
 
However, several lawyers of the Indian Supreme Court have told me that this particular judge is very rude to lawyers in court. 

I also enquired about the incident from another Senior Advocate of the Supreme Court, who confirmed that the judge is very rude.
-------------- 
--------------
He also wrote "The level of gratuitous rudeness in the Supreme Court has increased to a point that it has become insufferable. Hopefully the new judges will restore the balance, unless while sitting with their seniors they have assumed that rudeness is the due process of the Court".

He also mentioned the previous Chief Justice of India,  Ranjan Gogoi, who was known for his discourteous behaviour in court (apart from his other well known failings), telling in court Fali Nariman, Kapil Sibal, Dushyant Dave, Rajiv Dhavan and other eminent senior lawyers "None of you deserves to be heard".

In my opinion losing temper by judges in court, rude behavior like shouting and screaming, insulting language, threatening contempt proceedings against lawyers for perceived repetition and retorts, and threatening to have them thrown out of court or convicted etc do not behove judges, particularly those in the higher judiciary, and are wholly uncalled for.
 
No doubt judges have to control court proceedings, but this must be done in a dignified manner. Ugly display of temper by a judge in court not only lowers its dignity, but may even lead to injustice, for when one loses his temper he is prone to commit a mistake.
 
The higher one moves up a hierarchy the more humble and courteous he must become.
 
Judges of the Supreme Court are at the apex of the judicial hierarchy, and so must be particularly humble and polite. Every written sentence of theirs becomes the law of the land in India (vide Article 141 of the Indian Constitution).
 
This tremendous power comes coupled with tremendous responsibility, and this calls for calm, placid and unperturbed behavior in court and a tranquil and serene  frame of mind.
-------------
-------------
In the early years of the Indian Supreme Court there were Judges like Justices Patanjali Shastri, BK Mukherji, Vivian Bose, Fazl Ali etc who were not only very erudite but also very polite and humble. I may give an illustration.

Once a very senior and very old lawyer of Allahabad High Court, Mr Shyam Kishan Dar, came to Delhi in the 1950s to argue a case before the Supreme Court. He was then in his 80s and was hard of hearing. He was also known to be a bit short tempered and unsophisticated in his language.
 
While arguing his case he felt the judges were unnecessarily interrupting him and not following him, so he turned to his junior and said loudly "Yeh haraamzaade na sunte hain na samajhte hain" (these bastards neither hear nor understand).

Instead of taking contempt proceedings against him, the judges coolly said to the junior counsel "Mr Counsel, we respect Mr Dar a lot, but he seems to be upset. Have we done anything wrong? We apologise if we have".

Can one imagine such a thing happening today? It appears that this trend is reversed today, and lack of erudition among many Indian judges is accompanied with arrogance, a short fuse and an over touchy nature taking offense even over trivialities.

 

 

Justice Markandey Katju is former Judge, Supreme Court of India and former Chairman, Press Council of India.

  
 
 
Watch Video:

 

Disclaimer : PunjabToday.in and other platforms of the Punjab Today group strive to include views and opinions from across the entire spectrum, but by no means do we agree with everything we publish. Our efforts and editorial choices consistently underscore our authors' right to the freedom of speech. However, it should be clear to all readers that individual authors are responsible for the information, ideas or opinions in their articles, and very often, these do not reflect the views of PunjabToday.in or other platforms of the group. Punjab Today does not assume any responsibility or liability for the views of authors whose work appears here.

_______________________________________________________________

Most shared Punjab Today articles:

 

KYUN KE HUM HAIN HINDUSTANI

Three Women of 1984

 FROM 1984 TO BARGARI - Hurt & angry, we’ve tried rage, anger. Did we miss karuna?   

REVISITING 1984 – RIOT AROUND A POLE     

KARTARPUR SAHIB: A CLARION CALL FOR PEACE IN AN AGE OF CYNICISM

If it could happen to Arun Shourie, imagine what could they do to you?

Healers & Predators – The Doctor is In, & is very corrupt

Amarinder, Badals, AAP — Every party in Punjab is now an Akali Dal

Welcome to 1947. Happy Independence Day. Would you like to step out?

In Pakistan, a donkey pays for democracy – bleeding, its nostrils ripped apart

WOOING THE PANTH: Amarinder a little less Congressy, Akali Dal a little more saffron

"Captain Amarinder Singh ji” and "Rahul”: Reading Sign Language In A Relationship

The Comrade In Punjab - Lost, Irrelevant, Asleep, Even Bored!

WATERS ROYALTY - The Loot that Rajasthan Committed

AMARINDER GOVT's LOVE FOR FARMERS, AND MY DAD's FOR HIS SCOOTER

OF SUNNY KID & HORSE SENSE: The Punjab-Punjab Ties  

TRUDEAU VISIT AND RIGHT-WING MEDIA MACHINE         

 OF NIRMAL SINGH'S EYES 

Mr. CHIEF MINISTER, PLEASE CALL OFF JANUARY 7 FUNCTION         

MR PRESIDENT, PLEASE TAKE BACK HIS GALLANTRY MEDAL       

A SAFFRON JOURNEY VIA CANADA

BAD, BAD WOMAN!

 


 

_______________________________________________________________

Punjab Today believes in serious, engaging, narrative journalism at a time when mainstream media houses seem to have given up on long-form writing and news television has blurred or altogether erased the lines between news and slapstick entertainment. We at Punjab Today believe that readers such as yourself appreciate cerebral journalism, and would like you to hold us against the best international industry standards. Brickbats are welcome even more than bouquets, though an occasional pat on the back is always encouraging. Good journalism can be a lifeline in these uncertain times worldwide. You can support us in myriad ways. To begin with, by spreading word about us and forwarding this reportage. Stay engaged.

— Team PT







Comment

your name*

email address*

comments*
You may use these HTML tags:<p> <u> <i> <b> <strong> <del> <code> <hr> <em> <ul> <li> <ol> <span> <div>

verification code*
 







MOST VISITED
YOU MAY LIKE

TOPIC CLOUD

TAGS CLOUD

ARCHIVE



Copyright © 2016-2017







NEWS LETTER