"THREE DOCUMENTS"
(iii)    The oath or affirmation by Judge

Speech Sub-titles:

INTRODUCT ION
       
MOTILAL  SETALVAD      
TODAY’S TOPIC      
CANONS
Versus PRINCIPLES  

   "JUDICIAL ETHICS A definition"    
"
ATTEMPTED CODIFICATION OF CANONS OF JUDICIAL ETHICS"

   "Things necessary to be continually had in remembrance"     
"
THE CONCEPT OF JUDGESHIP IN GITA"

 

               
Hon’ble Shri R.C. Lahoti,
 
Chief Justice of India  
First M.C. Setalvad Memorial Lecture
 
Tuesday, 22nd February, 2005.    
at The Gulmohar Hall, India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road,  New Delhi . India.

[ for exact contents of Lecture visit official web site of Supreme Court of India http://www.supremecourtofindia.nic.in/judges_speech]

Speech Sub-titles:

 "THREE DOCUMENTS :     
(i) Restatement of Values of Judicial Life (1999)     
                                                                       (ii) The Bangalore Draft Principles  
  (iii) The oath or affirmation by Judge"

    "Oath of a Judge _  analysed "     "Independence and Impartiality"         
"
Four Qualities in a Judge" 

 "Conduct of Judge in private"     "Patience and Tolerance" 
"Rational Utilisation of  Time"       "EPILOGUE"

 

"THREE DOCUMENTS:     
            
(iii)    The oath or affirmation by Judge

The Constitution of India obligates the Indian Judiciary to reach the goal of securing to all its citizens __ Justice, Liberty, Equality and Fraternity. How this goal is to be achieved is beautifully summed up in the form of oath or affirmation to be made by the Judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts while entering upon the office.   

Swearing in the name of God or making a solemn affirmation a Judge ordains himself:-

(i)               that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of India as by law established;

(ii)            that I will uphold the sovereignty and integrity of India;

(iii)          that I will truly and faithfully

and to the best of my ability, knowledge and judgment

perform the duties of office

without fear or favour, affection or ill-will; and

(iv)      that I will uphold the Constitution and the laws.  

        In my humble opinion, the oath of a Judge is a complete Code of Conduct and incorporates therein all the canons of judicial ethics.  

The judiciary has been trusted and hence entrusted with the task of upholding the Constitution and zealously and watchfully guarding the constitutional values.  The oath administered to a judge ordains him to uphold the Office as a citadel of public justice and public security to fulfil the constitutional role assigned to the Judiciary.

        “The concept of independence of the judiciary is a noble concept which inspires the constitutional scheme and constitutes the foundation on which rests the edifice of our democratic polity. If there is one principle which runs through the entire fabric of the Constitution, it is the principle of the Rule of Law and under the Constitution, it is the judiciary which is entrusted with the task of keeping every organ of the State within the limits of the law and thereby making the Rule of Law meaningful and effective.  It is to aid the judiciary in this task that the power of judicial review has been conferred upon the judiciary and it is by exercising this power which constitutes one of the most potent weapons in armoury of the law, that the judiciary seeks to protect the citizen against violation of his constitutional or legal rights or misuse or abuse of power by the State or its officers.”[16]    This is the principle of independence of judiciary which  judges must keep in mind while upholding the Constitution and administering the laws.
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[16] S.P. Gupta  v.  Union of India, 1981 Supp. SCC 87, para 27.