Sacred oath of judges is to uphold justice: Lahoti
IT IS important for judges to have full faith in the Constitution and God while dispensing justice. The oath of a judge reflects the confidence, which the Constitution makers posed in the judges that they would perform their duty to their best of ability without fear or favour, affection or ill will.india Updated: Jan 29, 2006 00:36 IST
IT IS important for judges to have full faith in the Constitution and God while dispensing justice. The oath of a judge reflects the confidence, which the Constitution makers posed in the judges that they would perform their duty to their best of ability without fear or favour, affection or ill will.
Former Chief Justice of India, Justice R C Lahoti stated this while delivering the late Krishnarao Anant Chitale memorial lecture held to mark the golden jubilee celebration of MP High Court formation at Indore High Court premises here this evening.
In his keynote address on the oath of judges, Justice Lahoti said that though the Parliament is supreme, it cannot change the basic structure of judiciary laid down by the Constitution. Stating that the oath of a judge is like the seven vows of marriage; its most sacred part is to uphold the cause of justice without fear or favour, he maintained.
There are occasions, he said, that shake a judge emotionally but then he stands like a rock to dispense justice without affection or ill will.
He said that sanction of oath is belief that there is some supreme power or God that will punish the falsehood. Therefore a judge has to be a man of conscience, he added. Quoting Urdu couplets and philosophy propounded by Ramcharitmanas and Swami Yoganand, Justice Lahoti established that it is the truth and one’s total faith in God and the Constitution that makes a judge and that is what is ingrained in the oath of a judge mentioned in the Third Schedule of the Constitution.
Like the oath administered to an MP, the oath of a judge has no room for secrecy and that is why his orders cite reasons for the judgement, Justice Lahoti remarked.
Speaking further, he said that legislature and judiciary are accountable for their actions and any conflict between the two is the barometer of democracy. “Constitution from which all laws emanate is not just a political document but is also rich in social philosophy and throws light on the code of conduct,” he remarked.
Oath, he said, has also panchtatva that defines the words, the objective of a judge, character of judge, his source of inspiration and his methodology and the tools.
He concluded his speech by drawing instances from previous judgements dating back to 19th century to prove that the cause of justice needs to prevail over money, political pressure or any supreme authority or office. Those present at the law lecture included MP Chief Justice A K Patnaik, Himachal Pradesh Governor Justice V S Kokje among others.