President Ram Nath Kovind: Indiscreet remarks give space for dubious interpretations
While addressing Supreme Court judges in Delhi on Saturday, President Ram Nath Kovind said that judges should use utmost discretion while making remarks in courtrooms.
Six years after the Supreme Court nixed Parliament’s NJAC (National Judicial Appointments Commission) Act that had replaced the “judges-selecting-judges” collegium system, President Ram Nath Kovind gave fresh momentum to calls for reforming the selection method and suggested nurturing of grassroot level judges, chosen through an all-India exam, for promotion to the higher judiciary.
President Ram Nath Kovind was speaking at a function marked to celebrate Constitution Day in Delhi.
The President said, “Indiscreet remarks, even if made with good intentions, give space for dubious interpretations to run down the judiciary.”
Kovind quoted the late United States Supreme Court judge Felix Frankfurter to say that the essential quality of courts is detachment.
“I am sure there could also be better suggestions to reform the (judge selection) system. Ultimately, the aim should be to strengthen the justice delivery mechanism,” Kovind said.
“History teaches us that the independence of the judiciary is jeopardized when courts become embroiled in the passions of the day and assume primary responsibility in choosing between competing political, economic and social pressure,” Kovind quoted Frankfurter as saying.
Kovind added that India has had judges who were known for their sagacious comments. “I am happy to note that the judiciary has been adhering to those highest standards,” he said.
He said that he was pained to see some disparaging remarks made about the judiciary on social media platforms. “These platforms have worked wonderfully to democratize information, yet they have a dark side,” Kovind said. “The anonymity granted by them is exploited by some miscreants.”
He further said people see the judiciary as the most trusted institution. However, only a small section of the citizens can afford to approach courts, Kovind added. “I wish to see increased access to legal aid and advisory services for all,” he said.
He expressed concern about pending cases in courts. “The issue of pendency has ramifications for economic growth and development too,” the president said. It is high time all stakeholders find a way out by keeping national interest above all. Technology can be a great ally in this process.”
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