At a time when corruption cases abound, and negativity can creep in easily, chief justice of India SH Kapadia on Saturday urged judges to keep their personal philosophies aside, not judge cases on the presumption of corruption, and keep judicial integrity intact. In cases where there are no standards of law available, he said it should be left to the legislature to decide.
Kapadia was speaking at the closing ceremony of the yearlong celebrations of 150 years of the Bombay high court.
Reflecting on the conflicts between the judiciary and the government on issues related to making laws and policies, Kapadia, calling it a 'turf-war', said, "What is in the morality of law is settled by jurisprudence like reasonableness, rule of law, whereas in morality of government it is the philosophy of utilitarianism… which is constrained by the ballot box, party machinery, parliamentary mathematic, external circumstances, and even public opinion." This kind of conflict, he said, results in "judicial overreach".
Negativity could lead to chaos, he told the judiciary. "Many times in the court of law, an argument begins with the assumption of corruption. If we go by this principle, then it would be violating the principles of constitutionality of the law," he said.
He added that in conflict situations, judges must exercise judicial constraint. "Where there is no legal standard available… it should be left to the executive or the legislature," he said.