Judges should not lecture the society: CJI Kapadia

Chief Justice of India, S H Kapadia, on Saturday said judges must not "give lectures" to the society while doing their job and should not "judge the wisdom of legislature".

Updated: Mar 12, 2011, 18:28 PM IST

Ahmedabad: Chief Justice of India, S H
Kapadia, on Saturday said judges must not "give lectures" to the
society while doing their job and should not "judge the
wisdom of legislature".

Delivering Justice P D Desai memorial lecture here on the
subject `Constitutional Morality`, Justice Kapadia said "High
Courts and the Supreme Court are courts of principles. The
judges should not speak anything beyond the principles of a
particular case. Let us not give lectures to the society."
“The problem is sometimes we judges impose our own
values, our own likes or dislikes on the society," Kapadia
said.

"The judges should keep in mind that we cannot judge the
wisdom of legislatures. We have to work for constitutional
principles. I have no right to say what others should do but
I have to perform the duty on constitutional principles," he
further said.

“So, I am of the view that if the judges take decisions
on principles, many of the controversies that are taking place
now will not arise", he said.

The CJI also said courts these days faced the challenge
of balancing the rights and the society`s interests.

Without mentioning the recent Supreme Court ruling in
CVC P J Thomas appointment case, Justice Kapadia said "now
take the case of balancing points... what is more important to
the appointment of higher office? Presumption of innocence or
presumption of institutional integrity and competence?"

"On issues of development versus environment, to judge
a case is a most difficult exercise...Can you rule out
development in the interest of environment? The answer is no.
Can you lean totally in favour of development and rule out
environment? The answer is no," Kapadia said.
"In such cases, objectivity is the touchstone of the
judicial decision. Objectivity is the touchstone of rule of
law and when the judge gives a judgement, it must indicate
objectivity," Kapadia said.

"The most important thing that I would stress on the
issue of constitutional morality is clarity of judgement and
its objectivity," Kapadia said.

He rued that "today, in our country, senior lawyers are
not contributing to the development of law".

"Today, we are all quick in going to internet and
whatever information is available on the internet we download
it but you will not get the nuances of the law on it,"
Kapadia advised the law students.

PTI