16 Points – Restatement of Values of Judicial life | UPSC

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Restatement of Values of Judicial life

16 Points – Restatement of Values of Judicial life | UPSC

      HEADLINES:

Jagan vs. judges

      WHY IN NEWS:

What can CJI Bobde do about charges levelled against judges by the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister?

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 2 : Judiciary : Appointment of Judges : Impeachment

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS go through Laxmikant Chapter- Supreme Court and revise Appointment of Judges . Also the High Court chapter once .

For MAINS these 16 values must be noted down in your Mains book . They are highly important . It will serve you fetch more marks in answers relevant to Judicial life , Judges and Quality of Judgements . Let us dive in !

      ISSUE: 

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister (CM) Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy has stirred a hornet’s nest by writing to the Chief Justice of India complaining about SC judge Justice N.V. Ramana.

ALLEGATIONS

  • CM Jagan Mohan Reddy  alleged Justice N.V. Ramana for influencing posting of cases in the State High Court .
  • Also , Some High Court judges are hostile to his government and are deliberately striking down his regime’s decisions and orders.

In effect, he has accused many judges of misconduct, corruption and political bias.

  • Such an open conflict between the judiciary and a Chief Minister is without precedent.
  • Questions arise about what can be done about this serious complaint.

ALLEGATIONS OF MISCONDUCT AGAINST JUDGES

  • The Constitution protects the independence of judges of the High Courts and the Supreme Court.
  • This is by making them removable only through a long process of impeachment.

However, not all forms of misconduct will warrant impeachment.

  • There could be other kinds of impropriety too.
  • At the times when serious complaints are received the Chief Justice of India (CJI) is called upon to examine them.
  • Since 1997, judges have adopted an ‘in-house procedure’ for inquiring into such charges.

WHEN WAS THE PROCEDURE ADOPTED?

After Justice J.S. Verma took over as Chief Justice of India (CJI) in 1997, he circulated among judges a document called ‘Restatement of Values of Judicial life’.

  • This was a set of principles containing the essential elements of ideal behaviour for judges.
  • The Full Court passed a resolution that an ‘in-house procedure’ would be adopted for action against judges.
  • This was for only the acts of commission or omission that go against these values.
  • A five-judge committee was constituted to come up with a procedure.
  • Its report was adopted on December 15, 1999.
  • It was made public in 2014.

16 POINTS – RESTATEMENT OF VALUES OF JUDICIAL LIFE

  1. Justice must not merely be done but it must also be seen to be done.  The behaviour and conduct of members of the higher judiciary must reaffirm the people’s faith in the impartiality of the judiciary.  Accordingly, any act of a Judge of the Supreme Court or a High Court, whether in official or personal capacity, which erodes the credibility of this perception has to be avoided.
  2. A Judge should not contest the election to any office of a Club, society or other association; further he shall not hold such elective office except in a society or association connected with the law.
  3. Close association with individual members of the Bar, particularly those who practice in the same court, shall be eschewed.
  4. A Judge should not permit any member of his immediate family, such as spouse, son, daughter, son-in-law or daughter-in-law or any other close relative, if a member of the Bar, to appear before him or even be associated in any manner with a cause to be dealt with by him.
  5. No member of his family, who is a member of the Bar, shall be permitted to use the residence in which the Judge actually resides or other facilities for professional work.
  6. A Judge should practice a degree of aloofness consistent with the dignity of his office.
  7. A Judge shall not hear and decide a matter in which a member of his family, a close relation or a friend is concerned.
  8. A Judge shall not enter into public debate or express his views in public on political matters or on matters that are pending or are likely to arise for judicial determination.
  9. A Judge is expected to let his judgments speak for themselves.  He shall not give interviews to the media.
  10. A Judge shall not accept gifts or hospitality except from his family, close relations and friends.
  11. A Judge shall not hear and decide a matter in which a company in which he holds shares is concerned unless he has disclosed his interest and no objection to his hearing and deciding the matter is raised.
  12. A Judge shall not speculate in shares, stocks or the like.
  13. A Judge should not engage directly or indirectly in trade or business, either by himself or in association with any other person.
  14. A Judge should not ask for, accept contributions or otherwise actively associate himself with the raising of any fund for any purpose.
  15. A Judge should not seek any financial benefit in the form of a perquisite or privilege attached to his office unless it is clearly available.  Any doubt in this behalf must be got resolved and clarified through the Chief Justice.
  16. Every Judge must at all times be conscious that he is under the public gaze and there should be no act or omission by him which is unbecoming of the high office he occupies and the public esteem in which that office is held.

HOW DOES THE IN-HOUSE PROCEDURE WORK?

When a complaint is received against a High Court judge :

  • The CJI should decide if it is considered frivolous or

If it is “directly related to the merits of a substantive decision in a judicial matter”or

  • It does not involve any serious misconduct or impropriety.

Restatement of Values of Judicial life

REMOVAL OF JUDGES

  • If it is serious, the CJI should get the judge’s response.
  • He may close the matter if he is satisfied with the response.
  • If a deeper probe is considered necessary, both the complaint and the judge’s response, along with the Chief Justice’s comments, are recorded for further action.
  • The same procedure holds good if the CJI receives a complaint directly.

After considering the High Court’s Chief Justice, the judge involved and the complaint, the CJI, if deemed necessary, forms a three-member committee.

  • The committee should have two Chief Justices from other High Courts and one High Court judge.
  • The inquiry it holds is of the nature of a fact-finding mission and is not a formal judicial inquiry involving examination of witnesses.
  • The judge concerned is entitled to appear before it.
  • If the case is against a High Court’s Chief Justice, the same procedure is followed, but the probe committee comprises a Supreme Court judge and two Chief Justices.

If a Supreme Court judge faces such a charge, the in-house panel will comprise three Supreme Court judges.

  • The in-house procedure does not give any separate provision to deal with complaints against the Chief Justice of India.
  • But in practice, a panel of three other Supreme Court justices is formed.

WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THE PROBE IS DONE?

  • If the committee finds substance in the charges, it can give two kinds of recommendations.
  • One, that the misconduct is serious enough to require removal from office, or that it is not serious enough to warrant removal.

In the former case, the judge concerned will be urged to resign or seek voluntary retirement.

  • If the judge is unwilling to quit, the Chief Justice of the High Court concerned would be asked to withdraw judicial work from him.
  • The President and the Prime Minister will be informed of the situation.
  • This is expected to clear the way for Parliament to begin the process of impeachment.
  • If the misconduct does not warrant removal, the judge would be advised accordingly.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

HOW WILL THE CM’S COMPLAINT BE HANDLED?

  • The complaint by the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister will have to be examined by the CJI.

It will be from the perspective of whether it can be rejected as baseless, or it requires a deeper investigation.

  • Mr. Reddy has cited several writ petitions in which adverse orders were passed against his regime.
  • He also accuses the judges concerned of political bias not only against himself, but also in favour of his rival, N. Chandrababu Naidu, the former Chief Minister.
     SOURCES:THE HINDU | 16 Points – Restatement of Values of Judicial life | UPSC

 

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