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`Advocates should not be appointed judge of same court`

Last Updated: Friday, August 7, 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

"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 7, 2009 - 12:39

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