Conduct of Judge in private  

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 Februa ry, 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"

Conduct of Judge in private

When a judge sits on trial, he himself is on trial.  The trust and confidence of ‘we the people’ in judiciary stands on the bedrock of its ability to dispense fearless and impartial justice.  Any action which may shake that foundation is just not permitted.  Once having assumed the judicial office, the judge is a judge for 24 hours. It is a mistaken assumption for any holder of judicial office to say that I am a judge from 10 to 5 and from 5 to 10 it is my private life.  A judge is constantly under public gaze.  “Judicial office is essentially a public trust.  Society is, therefore, entitled to expect that a Judge must be a man of high integrity, honesty and required to have moral vigour, ethical firmness and impervious to corrupt or venial influences.  He is required to keep most exacting standards of propriety in judicial conduct. Any conduct which tends to undermine public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the court would be deleterious to the efficacy of judicial process.  Society, therefore,  expects higher standards of conduct and rectitude from a Judge.  Unwritten code of conduct is writ large for judicial officers to emulate and imbibe high moral or ethical standards expected of a higher judicial functionary, as wholesome standard of conduct which would generate public confidence, accord dignity to the judicial office and enhance public image, not only of the Judge but the court itself.  It is, therefore,  a basic requirement that a Judge’s official and personal conduct be free from impropriety; the same must be in tune with the highest standard of propriety and probity. The standard of conduct is higher than that expected of a layman and also higher than that expected of an advocate. In fact, even his private life must adhere to high standards of probity and propriety, higher than those deemed acceptable for others. Therefore,  the Judge can ill-afford to seek shelter from the fallen standard in the society.” [30]
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[29] Edmund Heward, Lord Denning, A Biography, 2nd Edn., pp.35-36.

[30] C. Ravichandran Iyer   v.   Justice A.M. Bhattacharjee & Ors.,   (1995)  5 SCC 457, para 21, per K. Ramaswamy, J.