Judges should not be too sensitive: Karnataka High Court expunges trial court's adverse remarks against senior advocate

"... judges should not be too sensitive in the conduct of court proceedings or to the comments of the onlookers", the High Court said.
Judges should not be too sensitive: Karnataka High Court expunges trial court's adverse remarks against senior advocate
Karnataka High Court

While expunging adverse remarks passed by a trial court against a Senior advocate, the Karnataka High Court recently opined that Judges should not be overly sensitive in the conduct of court proceedings or to the comments of the onlookers.

As noted in the order passed by Justice Krishna S Dixit,

"Suffice it to say that judges should not be too sensitive in the conduct of court proceedings or to the comments of the onlookers; in any circumstance, they are not expected to ink their orders with a pen dipped in acid either; cause of judicial process is served more by restraint of unpleasant expressions than otherwise; if the court orders are constructed with avoidably pungent words, the stream of justice runs the risk of being tainted as ‘impure’."

Suffice it to say that judges should not be too sensitive in the conduct of court proceedings or to the comments of the onlookers...
Karnataka High Court

The petitioners before the High Court submitted that an Additional City Civil and Session Judge, Bengaluru has employed arguably "intemperate language" in three of his orders passed last September, while reflecting on the professional conduct of a senior counsel.

The counsel for the petitioners submitted that while undesirable and unpleasant comments have been made at times within the Bar, owing to a host of factors, judges have always stood tall, consistent with the judicial traditions. As such, it was submitted that the intemperate language employed by the trial judge in his orders could have been avoided.

The petitioner-advocate added that he had nothing personal against the trial court Judge, while urging that the adverse observations be expunged from the record.

The High Court, in turn, found that the trial court's adverse observations fell short of the high standards fixed by judicial traditions. These comments had to be toned down, Justice Dixit opined.

"The language used in the subject orders though accords with the common usage, falls a little short of the high standards fixed by the judicial traditions; the tenor of the said orders appears to cast aspersion on the professional conduct of the counsel and therefore needs to be toned down, consistent with the majesty of the Institution of Judiciary", reads the order.

Justice Krishna S Dixit, Karnataka High Court
Justice Krishna S Dixit, Karnataka High Court

Therefore, the Bench expunged the adverse remarks from the orders in question. Justice Dixit clarified that nothing in his judgment should be construed as anything adverse against the trial court judge or the petitioners.

Before parting with the matter, the Bench also found it pertinent to add that the Bar and the Bench are like two wheels of a chariot, complementing and supporting each other at all times.

"It hardly needs to be reiterated that the Bar and the Bench being two inseparable wheels of the same chariot, have to move shoulder by shoulder, each being complementary and supportive to the other, the ‘bar’ in between, notwithstanding; even if the submissions of the counsel are, at times, not couched in a pleasant language, a judge is expected not to loose his cool in his expression, be it oral or in writing; efficacy of the orders can be maintained sans acidity in the language employed", states the order.

[Read order here]

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