Tolerance propagated by Mahatma Gandhi is one of the qualities all judicial officers, judges must possess: Chief Justice Abhay Oka
"Maybe due to to pressure of work, though we understand the importance of tolerance, we do not practice it", Chief Justice Oka said during a webinar held to commemorate the 151st birth anniversary of ...
Tolerance propagated by Mahatma Gandhi is one of the qualities all judicial officers, judges must possess: Chief Justice Abhay Oka
Chief Justice Oka

While delivering his address during a webinar commemorating the 151st birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, Chief Justice of the Karnataka High Court Abhay Shreeniwas Oka remarked that the Father of the Nation's message of tolerance is an essential quality for judicial officers and judges to have.

The webinar titled Relevance of Gandhi in 2020 was organized by the Karnataka State Legal Services Authority, the High Court Legal Services Committee, and the District Legal Services Authority, Bengaluru Urban, in association with Water Institute, Bangalore University.

Highlighting the importance of tolerance for judges and judicial officers, CJ Oka commented,

"All the judicial officers work under enormous pressure, especially today, as the entire world is affected by COVID-19. After I read what Mahatmaji has written, I suddenly realized that tolerance is one of the qualities which all the judicial officers, all the judges must possess. Maybe due to to pressure of work, though we understand the importance of tolerance, we do not practice it."
Chief Justice Abhay Oka

He further added,

"The thoughts adopted by Mahatmaji on the issue of tolerance, on the issue of God, on religion and most importantly, on the issue of freedom, continue to guide us even today."

During his address, CJ Oka also mentioned Gandhi's stint as a lawyer in South Africa.

"What he did as a lawyer in South Africa is a lesson to every member of the Bar, to every member of the legal fraternity....While he practiced law there, he became a civil rights activist."

CJ Oka further noted that Mahatma Gandhi strongly believed that it was the duty of a lawyer to facilitate amicable settlements between parties. This is what we say during Lok Adalats as well, recalled CJ Oka.

Gandhi's principles on economics also found a mention in CJ Oka's address.

"He strongly believed that all villages in the nation should be self-sufficient. He believed that every citizen who stays in villages must get employment. He led great emphasis that there should be village industries.....In the present day context, we saw a serious issue of migrant labourers. I feel that the time has come for us to revisit the thought process adopted by Mahatmaji."

CJ Oka

CJ Oka expressed that had Gandhi's words been followed in true letter and spirit, perhaps the migrant labourers would not have had to migrate to different cities in search of employment.

In the course of his speech, CJ Oka also spoke of Lal Bahadur Shastri, who shared his date of birth with Gandhi.

As a closing remark, CJ Oka opined,

"Whether you are a judicial officer, a law student or an engineering student......the thoughts adopted by Mahatmaji are relevant and will continue to be relevant."

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