`Advocates should not be appointed judge of same court`
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Last Updated: Friday, August 07, 2009, 12:39
New Delhi: The Law Commission has recommended that a practising advocate of a High Court should not be appointed as a judge in the same court as it "affects impartiality" of justice.

The report said such reform was needed as there have been complaints about "uncle judges" who were appointed in the High Court where they practised for many years.

"There are occasions when advocate judges either settle scores with the advocates, who have practised with them, or has soft corner with them. In any case, this affects their impartiality and justice is the loser," the Commission's 230th report submitted by its Chairman Justice AR Lakshmanan said.

"Often we hear complaints about 'Uncle Judges'. If a person has practised in a High Court, say for 20-25 years and is appointed a judge in the same High Court, overnight change is not possible. He has his colleague advocates as well as his kith and kin who had been practising with him," the former Supreme Court judge said in the report submitted to government on Wednesday.

The Commission also expressed concern over elevation of advocates to the bench on the basis of their family and political linkages.

"Sometimes it appears that this high office is patronized. A person, whose near relation or well wisher is or had been a judge in the higher courts or is a senior advocate or is a political high-up, stands a better chance of elevation," the report said.

The Commission has also said that the post of Chief Justice of a High Court should not be transferable in order to enable him to function effectively.

"The Chief Justice, who comes on transfer for a short period of six months, one or two years, is a new man, rather alien for the place and passes his time anyhow. He has to depend on others for policy decisions in administrative matter," the Commission said.

Bureau Report

First Published: Friday, August 07, 2009, 12:39

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