Justice Navin Sinha stresses on need to train young lawyers
Justice Navin Sinha on Wednesday emphasised on the quality training of young lawyers as he retired from the Supreme Court after a tenure of four-and-half years.
“Today’s lawyers will be tomorrow’s judges… They (young lawyers) must be taught manners and demeanour of a lawyer. When the lawyer appears, a judge should be able to trust him,” justice Sinha said in his farewell address.
“Humility lies in recognising one’s own shortcoming and addressing it. In today’s time, when competition is stiff and laws are tough, I believe the younger generation of lawyers need to be trained,” he added as he urged the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) to train the young lawyers.
Chief Justice of India N V Ramana, who also addressed the event, said that judges must make a conscious effort to keep aside their biases and prejudices while delivering judgments and must not be swayed by external pressures.
“We often carry our individual baggage of biases and prejudices which can unconsciously affect the decision-making process. Our social conditions, upbringing and life experiences often colour our opinions and notions. But, when we adorn the robe of a judge, we must make a conscious effort to cast aside our biases and prejudices. After all, equality, objectivity and even-handedness form crucial aspects of fairness,” he said.
Justice Sinha is the grandson of first advocate general of Bihar, Babu Baldev Sahay. He practised before the Patna High Court for 23 years and was appointed as a permanent judge there on February 11, 2004. He was the chief Justice of high courts of Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan before being elevated as a judge of the apex court.
In the apex court, he was part of several important judgments, including the landmark verdict in January 2019 upholding the constitutional validity of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code in its entirety.
He was a part of the bench which, in 2020, held that the right to default bail on account of delay in filing chargesheet is not a mere statutory right but is part of the procedure established by law under Article 21 (right to life and liberty).
He was also a part of a bench that ruled that “courts are guardians of the rights and liberties of the citizen and they shall fail in their responsibility if they abdicate their solemn duty towards the citizens.”
In a 2018 judgment, justice Sinha had held: “A criminal trial is but a quest for truth. The nature of inquiry and evidence required will depend on the facts of each case. The presumption of innocence will have to be balanced with the rights of the victim, and above all the societal interest for preservation of the rule of law. Neither the accused nor the victim can be permitted to subvert a criminal trial by stating falsehood and resort to contrivances, so as to make it the theatre of the absurd.”