Restrictions on Questions and Discussion on Conduct of Judges in Parliament*

 

Matters relating to appointment of Chief Justice of India and super session of Judges of Supreme Court,  etc. have, however, been discussed in the Lok Sabha
[ The appointment of A.N. Ray as Chief Justice of India and the super session of three Supreme Court Judges was discussed in Lok Sabha under rule 193 on 2 and 4 May 1973.-L.S. Deb., 2-5-1973].  

 

The protection of the Judge in this regard is restricted only in respect of his judicial duties and does not apply to his private conduct (business/affairs) [ The Judicial Officers Protection Act, 1850] .

 

     In order to secure the independence of the Judges, both from the executive as also from the legislature, specific provisions have been made in the Constitution to provide that the conduct to a Judge of the Supreme Court or a High Court 'in the discharge of his duties' cannot be discussed in Parliament except upon a substantive motion for presenting an address tot he President for removal of a Judge [Arts. 121 and 124(4)] .

    Thus, judicial conduct of a Judge of the Supreme Court or of a High Court cannot be discussed on the floor of the House in any debate [Rule 352 (v); H.P. Deb. (II), 1-12-1953, c.1164; L.S. Deb., 17-4-1958, c. 10528; 27-3-1961, c. 7433; R.S. Deb., 11-8-1980, S.N.Q. No. 2, cc. 53-54] or commented upon collaterally, by way of a motion for adjournment

[ Rule 58 (viii)] or question, etc [ Rule 41 (ix)]. The only mode of discussing the conduct of a Judge in the discharge of his duties is upon a motion for his removal and that too when the motion is tabled under the specified provisions and the procedure prescribed therein is followed. If in the discharge of his judicial functions, a Judge comes to an erroneous finding or makes adverse comments upon any person, the only course open is to appeal against that decision, if an appeal, review or revision lies. The protection of the Judge in this regard is restricted only in respect of his judicial duties and does not apply to his private conduct [ The Judicial Officers Protection Act, 1850] .

    The State Legislatures are prohibited from discussing the conduct of a Judge of the Supreme Court or of a High Court in the discharge of his duties [ Art. 211] .

Matters relating to appointment of Chief Justice of India and super session of Judges of Supreme Court  etc. have, however, been discussed in the Lok Sabha [ The appointment of A.N. Ray as Chief Justice of India and the super session of three Supreme Court Judges was discussed in Lok Sabha under rule 193 on 2 and 4 May 1973.-L.S. Deb., 2-5-1973].


    Normally, matters relating to judicial functions of the Courts are not permitted to be raised in the House but questions asking for factual information about High Courts or the extent of arrears pending in the High Courts have been admitted and answered in Lok Sabha. Similarly, private members' resolutions regarding the arrears of work in the High Courts, vacations in High Courts or the general question of transfer of Judges among different High Courts have also been admitted. Judgments given by Courts can be referred to in the course of speeches by members to explain a point of view, to suggest whether the laws need be changed and, if so, in what manner, or to pin-point criticism against the Government or individuals referred to in the judgment. Members may also observe that a particular conclusion was erroneous on the facts, or the facts were not properly placed before the Judge.


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*Source: Page No. 945 to 946 of Practice and Procedure of Parliament. By Dr. Subhash C. Kashyap; Fourth Edition 1991.  Published for Lok Sabha  Secretariat ]

 

 

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