Chief Justice of India-designate S.H Kapadia on Sunday cautioned “brother judges” against indulging in judicial activism and stressed ethical morality in the judiciary.
Justice Kapadia, who takes over as CJI from Justice K.G. Balakrishnan on May 12, made these observations in his valedictory address at a two-day national consultation on reforms in legal education.
“Judicial activism beyond a point is against the rule of law and that is why I always tell my brother judges, please see to it we also should continue to learn,” he said.
Speaking in the presence of Supreme Court judges and Law Minister M. Veerappa Moily, the next head of India’s judiciary said judges should never give up their quest for knowledge.
“If the judge is clear on concepts, then not only litigation, but the judge will be able to decipher the difference between judicial activism and judicial restraint,” Justice Kapadia said.
“Judges normally comment upon ethics in the politicians, students and professors and others. But I would say that for a judge also, ethics, not only constitutional morality but even ethical morality, should be the base of the judge.”
He criticised senior lawyers of the apex court for not taking time to teach young students.
In other countries, senior lawyers contribute to journals and teach students. “Unfortunately, I don’t see that kind of dedication from senior lawyers of the Supreme Court,” he said.
Justice Kapadia also exhorted law students to gain expertise in relatively new fields such as commercial law.
Moily said, “we look forward to dramatic changes in the justice delivery system from the next CJI”.