Non-biased justice delivery system is the bedrock of good governance and is a pillar on which democratic structure survives, the Supreme Court has said.
"It is not to be forgotten that in a democratic polity, justice in its conceptual eventuality and inherent quintessentiality in essence forms the bedrock of good governance.
"In a democratic system that is governed by rule of law, fairness of action, propriety, reasonability, institutional impeccability and non-biased justice delivery system constitute the pillars on which its survival remains in continuum," a bench of justice P Sathasivam and justice Dipak Misra said.
The apex court's observation came while dismissing an appeal filed by an ex-army officer Chandra Kumar Chopra challenging his conviction and six months rigorous imprisonment for financial irregularity in claiming transportation bill reimbursement.
The bench dismissed his plea that he was not given fair hearing in court martial by the Army.
"Mere suspicion or apprehension is not good enough to entertain a plea of bias. It cannot be a facet of one’s imagination. It must be in accord with the prudence of a reasonable man.
"The circumstances brought on record would show that it can create an impression in the mind of a reasonable man that there is real likelihood of bias," the bench said.
It said that considering the rank of the officer, who was a Major, the punishment of six month of imprisonment is not harsh.
"Irreproachable conduct, restrained attitude, understanding of responsibility and adherence to discipline" were expected of him, the bench said.
It said, "The proven charges luminously project that the said aspects have been given a total go by. In this backdrop, it is well nigh impossible to hold that the punishment was harsh or arbitrary."