Srinagar: Chief Justice of J&K and Ladakh High Court Justice N Kotiswar Singh Thursday said that the judges were like architectural designers while deciding a case.
An official spokesman in a statement issued here said that speaking during a one-day interactive programme on ‘Order, judgment writing, application of the law, sharing best practices, and finding solutions to practical problems faced by them in justice delivery’ for civil judges of Kashmir province organised by the Jammu and Kashmir Judicial Academy, the chief justice said, “Though in the criminal cases, the chargesheet is the basis for decision but the facts of the case must be taken care of while deciding the case.”
Singh, who is also the Patron-in-Chief of J&K Judicial Academy, while delivering the inaugural address said that it was the primary duty of a judge to write judgement understandable by a litigant and not for the higher courts.
He said that entire focus should be on the litigant who has come for justice,
The J&K Chief Justice said that judgement should be clear, lucid, and with good reasoning.
“The application of mind is important to make any decision because we are dealing with human sufferings,” he said. “For a good judgement the facts of the case should be properly marshalled and the law should be applied with clear reasons for accepting or rejecting any claim of the litigant.”
The programme inaugurated by the Chief justice of J&K and Ladakh High Court aims to provide a platform for civil judges to exchange ideas and share experiences as well as learn techniques from the experts in the field of law.
Justice Sindhu Sharma, who is the Chairperson of J&K Judicial Academy, in her special address, while quoting a Greek Philosopher said that the qualities of a judge were to hear courteously, to answer wisely, to consider soberly and to decide impartially.
She said that while deciding a case and writing a judgment, a judge should consider the arguments and claims put forth by the parties.
Quoting former judge at the Supreme Court, Justice H K Sema, Justice Sharma said that the judgement was best when given with reasons.
Quoting former Chief Justice of India, Justice R C Lahoti, she said that while writing a judgement do not go into the verbosity of the document.
Justice Sharma said that a litigant should understand why a case was in his favour or against, that should come out from the judgement.
“The basic factors that should be considered, is to maintain integrity while passing a decision and it should not be influenced by any other matter, even our own prejudices and biases. We have to consider the facts while writing a judgement that should be based on the provision of law, the aspect on which we are doing and how we are going to write the judgement,” she said.
A member of J&K Judicial Academy Justice Javed Iqbal Wani in his address, citing the case of Barender Kumar Gosh said that the trial judge quoted from the sonnet ‘On His Blindness’ of a famous English poet John Milton, "They also serve who only stand and wait" while turning the plea of innocence of Barender Kumar Gosh in a robbery and murder case quoting that even if you were guard at the door still you were guilty of the crime for taking no action.
Justice Wani, citing another recent judgement of the Supreme Court of India, while quoting former judge of the Supreme Court of Queensland, Justice Roslyn Atkinson, who had said that there are purposes for any judgement that is written - to spell out judges own thoughts, to explain your decision to the parties, to communicate the reasons for the decision to the public and to provide reasons for an appeal to consider said, “Every judgement has to have various basic elements such as statement of material (relevant) facts, legal issues or questions, deliberation to reach at decision, and the ratio or conclusive decision.”
Director of J&K Judicial Academy, M K Sharma, in his welcome address, underscored the importance of organising this programme saying that writing judgments and orders was an art and often varied from judge to judge as no form or format had been provided in law as to how judgments and orders should be written by the judges.
Registrar Vigilance of the High Court of J&K and Ladakh Yash Paul Bourney, Director of J&K Judicial Academy M K Sharma, and Special Judge, Anti-Corruption (CBI Cases), Srinagar Jatinder Singh Jamwal were the resource persons for the programme.
The daylong interactive programme was divided into two technical sessions and an interactive session for feedback.
Bourney and M K Sharma, who analysed the art of order and judgment writing and application of the law, chaired the first technical session.
The second technical session was chaired by Jatinder Singh Jamwal, who explained by sharing best practices and finding solutions to practical problems faced by Civil Judges (Junior Division) in justice delivery.