The "sweeping" remarks of the Delhi High Court against a trial court judge who had acquitted all the accused, including Manu Sharma, in Jessica Lall muder case, were on Monday expunged by the Supreme Court saying the verdict and not the judge should be criticized.
"The possibility of taking a contrary view is part of the system but the judicial propriety and discipline do not necessarily command that some strictures or undesirable language should be used by the higher courts in exercise of their jurisdiction," the court said.
"It would always be more appreciable to keep the process of correction in place when reasoning is given to criticize the judgment under appeal rather than the Judge himself.
Individuals come and go but what actually stands for ever is the institution," it said while asking expunction of the remarks made by the Division bench of the High Court against trial court judge S L Bhayana.
The High Court had questioned the judicial integrity of the trial court judge while reversing his finding in the case.
"The higher courts in exercise of their appellate or original jurisdiction may find patent errors of law or fact or appreciation of evidence in the judgment which have been challenged before them. Despite this, what is of importance is that the courts should correct the error in the judgment and not normally comment upon the judgment," the
"The respect of the judiciary and for the judiciary is of paramount consideration. Every possible effort should be made and precaution taken, which will help in preservation of public faith and individual dignity," the apex court said.
It said the High Court could have avoided making such remarks towards impropriety in the functioning of the court and appreciation of evidence by the learned Judge.
"The content and merit of the judgment would have remained unaffected even if such language or comments were not made against the learned trial Judge," the court said.
The apex court also expunged the adverse remarks made by the trial court judge against Delhi police accusing it of faulty probe.