SC deplores judges conduct
PRESS TRUST OF INDIA
New Delhi, Aug 16: The Supreme Court has deplored the tendency of judges to abdicate their task of deciding complex legal issues and merely resorting to quick disposal of cases for statistical delight.
A bench of justices G S Singhvi and K S Radhakrishnan said directions and decisions passed by judges should be reasoned with a determination to put an end to the litigation instead of allowing it to prolong.
"Of late, we have come across several orders which would indicate that some of the judges are averse to deciding the disputes when they are complex or complicated and would find out ways and means to pass on the burden to their brethren or remand the matters to the lower courts not for good reasons.
"A few judges, for quick disposal and for statistical purposes, get rid of the cases, driving the parties to move representations before the some authority with a direction to that authority to decide
the dispute, which the judges should have done. Often, causes of action, which otherwise had attained finality, resurrect, giving a fresh cause for action," justices Radhakrishnan writing the judgement said.
The apex court passed the direction while quashing a Uttarakhand High Court's direction to the state to pay an over Rs 70 lakh compensation with interest to Sunil Kumar Vaish whose land was acquired by the government for setting up a printing press.
The family of Vaish was earlier evicted from the place by the government on the ground that they were unauthorised claimants.
The high court had passed the order in 2002 despite the Supreme Court dismissing the Vaish family's claim on December 23, 1981. The High Court had passed the order on a subsequent order of the District Magistrate Haridwar to the state government on September 17, 1993, for payment of compensation to the family.
The apex court expressed surprise at the high court's non-application of mind in deciding the issue.
"Non-application of mind is writ large in the order of the High Court. Not even an attempt has been made to refer to the pleadings of parties or examine the documents produced in spite of the fact that those material were on record.
"Duty is cast on the judges to give finality to the litigation so that the parties would know where they stand.
"Judicial determination has to be seen as an outcome of a reasoned process of adjudication initiated and documented by a party based on mainly events which happened in the past. Courts’ clear reasoning and analysis are basic requirements in a judicial determination when parties demand it so that they can administer justice justly and correctly in relation to the findings on law and facts," the apex court said.
The bench said litigants should be convinced that their case has been properly considered and judicial decisions must depend principally on the quality of its reasoning.
"Proper reasoning is an imperative necessity which should not be sacrificed for expediency.
"The requirement of providing reasons obliges the judge to respond to the parties’ submissions and to specify the points that justify the decision and make it lawful and it enables the society to understand the functioning of the judicial system and it also enhances the faith and confidence of the people in the judicial system.
"Needless to say, these types of orders weaken our judicial system. Serious attention is called for to enhance the quality of adjudication of our courts. Public trust and confidence in courts stem, quite often, from the direct experience of citizens from the judicial adjudication of their disputes," the bench said.
The apex court said that any order passed by an executive shall become official only if is issued in the name of the President of India or the Governor of the State as the case may be in accordance with Articles 77(1) and (2) or Articles 166(1) and(2) respectively of the Constitution.
In the present case, the bench said the high court passed the order on the mere correspondence between the district magistrate and the government.
Lastupdate on : Tue, 16 Aug 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 16 Aug 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 17 Aug 2011 00:00:00 IST
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