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'I Had To Use Tiger Balm After Reading It', Says Justice MR Shah Over 'Incomprehensible' High Court Judgment

Mehal Jain
12 March 2021 9:25 AM GMT
I Had To Use Tiger Balm After Reading It, Says Justice MR Shah Over Incomprehensible High Court Judgment
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The Supreme Court on Friday expressed its displeasure at the incomprehensible manner in which judgments are coming to be written by High Courts.The bench of Justices D. Y. Chandrachud and M. R. Shah was hearing a SLP arising out of an order passed by a division bench of the Himachal Pradesh High Court in a writ petition under Article 226, which in turn arose from an award of the...

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The Supreme Court on Friday expressed its displeasure at the incomprehensible manner in which judgments are coming to be written by High Courts.

The bench of Justices D. Y. Chandrachud and M. R. Shah was hearing a SLP arising out of an order passed by a division bench of the Himachal Pradesh High Court in a writ petition under Article 226, which in turn arose from an award of the Central Government Industrial Tribunal. The High Court had confirmed the order of the CGIT as regards the charge of misconduct against an employee.
"What judgement has been written?!", exclaimed Justice Chandrachud in Hindi.
Replying in Hindi, Justice Shah concurred, "I did not understand anything. There are long, long sentences. Then, there is an odd comma showing up anywhere After reading, I did not understand anything. I started doubting my own understanding!"
"I had to use Tiger balm", quipped Justice Shah.
"Judgments must be such which everyone can understand...And the judge says that the charge of misconduct has been proved!", noted the bench.
"I sat down to read it at 10:10 AM. It was 10:55 by the time I completed! I was like, 'Can you imagine this?' Finally, I had to look for the award of the CGIT itself. Oh, my God! I am telling you, this is unbelievable!", remarked Justice Chandrachud.
"This is a dislocation of justice. In every matter, you find a just judgement like this", continued the judge.
"It is said that the judgement must be as simple as it can be so that everyone can understand. It is not supposed to be a thesis", commented Justice Shah.
"In this regard, we speak of Justice Krishna Iyer. His judgements used to have a profound thought, a profound sense of learning behind the artistry of words", said Justice Chandrachud.
"Reading the order of the division bench of November 27, 2020, we note that the reasons recorded by the High Court in the long judgement of 18 pages are not comprehensible. The kind of reasoning and language employed is inexplicable", the bench stated.
"We are at our wit's end. This is happening repeatedly", expressed Justice Chandrachud.
"Brother, should we say something on how to write judgements? That simple language should be used in conveying what you are trying to say?", said Justice Shah.
"Judgements are needed to convey the reasoning and process of thought underlining the conclusion which is arrived at by the adjudicatory forum. Judgments must be understandable not only to the members of the bar who have appeared in the matter or to those for whom they hold value as a precedent but must also have meaning to the general litigants who have to approach the courts for the enforcement of their rights. Otherwise, there is a disservice to the cause of ensuring accessible and understandable justice to all", added Justice Chandrachud to the order.
In 2017 a Supreme Court had a judgment passed by the same Judge of the Himachal Pradesh High Court, because of the convoluted English used in the judgment.

"After hearing learned counsel, it is not possible to comprehend the contents of the impugned order passed by the High Court. The order passed by the High Court is, therefore, set aside and the matter is remanded to the High Court for fresh consideration on merits," the Bench comprising Justice Madan B. Lokur and Justice Deepak Gupta observed.


Fed Up Of Seeing 'Cut-Copy-Paste' Orders Of High Courts; Independent Reasons Need To Be Cited : Justice Chandrachud

Click here to download the Order


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