New Delhi: The Supreme Court has said that the courts must protect judicial officers against unjustified allegations to encourage young officers to work without fear or favour.
The apex court said that the high courts must ensure that there is no hostile environment for junior judicial officers, particularly the lady officers.
"It is the duty of the District Judge and also of the high court to protect the judicial officers against unjustified allegations," a bench of justices H L Gokhale and Dipak Misra said.
It set aside a Gujarat government decision to terminate the job of a civil judge which was done on a recommendation of the high court administration.
"We would like to take this opportunity to emphasise that the high courts must see to it that the hostile work environment for junior judicial officers, particularly the lady officers, is eliminated.
"This is necessary to encourage the young officers to put in good judicial work without fear or favour. We are constrained to say that in the present case, the high court administration has clearly failed in this behalf," it said.
It said that the high court administration`s recommendation, that performance of the judge J C Buddhbhatti was not good and satisfactory, was made for extraneous reasons and directed her reinstatement.
"What we find in the present case is that instead of doing the same (protecting the judge), an investigation was conducted against her without affording her any opportunity....," it said.