Judges Opting Out Of Hearing A Case Should Explain The Reasons For Doing So

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Judges Opting Out Of Hearing A Case Should Explain The Reasons For Doing So


News / Headlines   /   Oct 21, 2015

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New Delhi: After the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) was struck down last week Justice Kurian Joseph has advocated that judges should disclose the reasons if they decide to opt out of hearing a case and ask it to be placed before some other judge in that court. At present judges are not required to explain the reasons if they decide not to hear a particular case.

 

Justice Kurian tried to supplement the decision with the idea of transparency and accountability.

 

“Being an institution whose hallmark is transparency, it is only proper that the judge discharging high and noble duties, at least broadly indicate the reasons for recusing from the case… it is the constitutional duty, as reflected in one’s oath, to be transparent and accountable, and hence, a judge is required to indicate reasons for his recusal from a particular case,” he said.

 

According to Kurian such a practice will not only increase transparency in the judicial system but will also put more trust on the judges as this will prevent the public from thinking that the recusal was for some altogether irrelevant reason where the judge avoided giving judgment on a sensitive or controversial issue, or may the judge is not happy with the roster, or when he is getting unduly sensitive about the public perception of his image, or if maybe he doesn’t want to disappoint anybody.

 

“Once reasons for recusal are indicated, there will not be any room for attributing any motive for the recusal. To put it differently, it is part of his duty to be accountable to the Constitution by upholding it without fear or favour, affection or ill-will,” he added.

 

(image courtesy: https://goo.gl/RcfLni)


The views expressed here are those of the authors and doesn’t reflect the official policy of Janpratinidhi. The views expressed here are those of the authors and doesn’t reflect the official policy of Janpratinidhi.
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