18 Dec 2022 5:32 AM GMT
Chief Justice of India Dr DY Chandrachud on Saturday spoke about the unspoken hierarchy in the judiciary where judges appointed directly from the Bar are considered superior to those hired directly from judicial services."There is a divide between those who come from the services and those who come from the bar. I think that divide must end. There's much that contributes to the enrichment of...
Chief Justice of India Dr DY Chandrachud on Saturday spoke about the unspoken hierarchy in the judiciary where judges appointed directly from the Bar are considered superior to those hired directly from judicial services.
"There is a divide between those who come from the services and those who come from the bar. I think that divide must end. There's much that contributes to the enrichment of the high courts from those who come from the services," he said adding, "The members of the bar bring the sense of freshness of a recent experience with the legal profession, the members of the service bring the continuity of tradition which is so important for the judiciary."
CJI Chandrachud was speaking at his felicitation organised by the Bombay High Court administration.
He applauded Madhya Pradesh High Court's recent resolution to not refer to the 'district judiciary' as 'subordinate judiciary.' The CJI called it a symbol of the district judiciary being equals.
"Unlike the civil services where young members of the civil service are treated as equals, in the judiciary we have a sense of subordination, that sense of hierarchy which prevents us from getting the best inputs," he said.
DYC spoke about a recent incident that had shaken him to the "core." According to the autobiography of a retired judge elevated through judicial services, it was Chandrachud's call for her elevation to the Bombay HC that had saved her from suicide after her husband was charged with rape.
"She says that she tore up the letter (suicide note) and continued to see another day. I am sharing this because at the end of it all I think the worth of our lives depends upon whether we leave the world a slightly better place to live in if this is the last day of our life."
CJI on Saturday also gave the audience a glimpse of his background and dedicate a significant part of the evening to thank each of his mentors and colleagues.
"Where do I begin," is Andy Williams' famous song from the movie Love Story, the CJI said reiterating the words at the start of his speech. The CJI then thanked his parents, "I should acknowledge that I am here because of the sacrifices of my parents."
CJI Chandrachud's Ancestral Past
The CJI narrated how their land was seized after a celling in the agricultural laws, after which his ancestors decided to move towards academics. Around this time, the CJI's great great grandmother found out that her husband was going to perform a second wedding.
"So she took nine children under her belt, mortgaged her jewellery, and brought them to Pune to chart a new course of life for children of the family. On the strength of that one woman, came the first doctor of our family. My father's uncle became the lawyer and that is how my family moved from the landed tradition to the intellectual tradition."
Speaking about YV Chandrachud who had the longest term as Chief Justice of India, CJI DYC said he had started from chawl in Dadar, taking client briefs at 5 am every morning.
"My parents had the vision of sending my sister and I to an English medium. They started learning English only in [class] 7. He never had the benefit of foreign education the way we had."
I Try To Judge Without Being Judgemental
The strength of Bombay HC is its ability to write and formulate the law for the future, the DYC said about his parent HC. "I know that judges are hard pressed for time today but do step back and take time to formulate doctrine."
"I try to judge without being judgemental. It is a thin line. We are duty bound to judge. It is important not to be judgemental of how others live their lives. Even if they transgress the law, it is important to understand why they do as they do."
DYC also stressed on the urgent need for lawyers to take up judgeship, especially at the Bombay HC. "When someone refuses to become a judge, I tell them, if you don't accept judgeship today, you will get the judges you deserve in the future."
A Jurist With a Rare Astuteness
Words of extreme adulation and praise poured in for CJI from Justices BR Gavai, Abhay Oak, Dipankar Datta as well as Justice Gautam Patel from the Bombay High Court.
"In an age of constant contestation, at a time of change in the blink of an eye, in a land where diversity is as wide as inequality, to be a judge of a superior court is no easy task. He who wears lightly the burden of his office is a true judge…. However far we searched we should be unlikely to find a single soul in whom these virtues of judicial office are so thoroughly distilled as they are in you. As a jurist with a rare astuteness and a clear eyed fidelity to our constitutional ethos, always safeguarding from predatory clause that which lies at the core of our nationhood. .. Protector of the queer, the oppressed and the disadvantaged. As the holder of a high public office with a fixity of purpose, one indefatigable in the pursuit of justice, complete in every sense, and the member of our own judicial family. For this noble court will always be your home." Justice GS Patel said.