Judges occupying high moral ground go a long way in building public confidence

New Delhi



The Supreme Court has said judges occupying the highest moral ground go a long way in building public confidence in the justice delivery system.

A bench comprising justices K.M. Joseph and P.S. Narasimha said: "It is through the Civil Judge (Junior Division)/Magistrate that the common man has the greatest interface. Most importantly, the perception of the common man about the credentials and background of the judicial officer is vital". The bench added that post of a judicial officer at any level involves applying the "most exacting standards".

The bench added: "The incumbent of a judicial post discharges one of the most important functions of the State, that is, the resolution of disputes involving the people of the country. Judges occupying the highest moral ground go a long way in building public confidence in the justice delivery system".

The bench noted that post of a civil judge or a magistrate is of the highest importance notwithstanding the fact that in the pyramidical structure of the judiciary, the civil judge is at the lowest rung. "We say this for the reason that of all the litigation which is instituted in the country, the highest volume of the same takes place at the lowest level. Not many of the cases finally reach the highest Court", said the bench, in its judgment.

These observations were made by the top court while allowing the plea filed by the high court through its registrar general against the Rajasthan High Court verdict, which allowed a plea by a man challenging the decision against his appointment to the civil judge's cadre.

The bench noted that the man was acquitted in FIRs lodged against him on the basis of compromise and added, the alleged involvement of an officer in criminal cases may undermine public faith in the system. "We are unable to describe the acquittals as honourable or acquittals based on there being a complete absence of evidence," said the top court, as it set aside the high court verdict.

In November 2013, the Rajasthan High Court, Jodhpur, had issued a notification inviting applications for filling up the post of civil judge (junior division). The man had applied for this post. The top court noted that during verification, the man had volunteered with the information in connection with him being implicated in certain criminal cases.

The committee of the high court, in July 2015, tasked by the chief justice to consider the case of 12 candidates, including the man, resolved to not recommend him.

The man had filed a plea before the high court which allowed it, noting that no criminal case was pending against him when the online application form was submitted for the recruitment - IANS

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