‘Judiciary should avoid perception-driven verdicts’

RSTV Bureau

Modi_CJIjpgAdvising judiciary to avoid “perception-driven” verdicts, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said it should have an internal mechanism of “self-assessment” as judges are considered “divine” and seldom face any criticism unlike the political class.

Addressing a conference of top judges from across the country, he said while the judiciary is getting powerful, it is necessary that it also becomes “perfect” to live up to the expectations of the people.

“It is easy to deliver judgements based on the law and the Constitution. There is a need to be cautious against perception-driven verdicts,” he said, adding that “perceptions are often driven by five star activists”.

Noting that the judiciary is considered “divine” and next only to the God, he advised it to have an internal mechanism for self-assessment, which he said, is a “difficult” task.

“We (the political class) are lucky that people watch us, assess us and rip us apart. You (Judiciary) are not as lucky.

“If you order a person to death, he also comes out and says that he believes in the judiciary . . . When there is little scope for criticism, the need of the hour is to develop an internal mechanism for self-assessment where the government and the politicians have no role,” the Prime Minister said addressing the joint conference of Chief Justices of the 24 High Courts and Chief Ministers.

Modi’s remarks came close on the heels of an impeachment motion being moved in Parliament against a judge of the Madhya Pradesh High Court for alleged sexual harassment of a woman judicial officer.

Committed to scrap obsolete Acts, Modi said laws are sometimes not drafted well and therefore lead to multiple interpretations. “There should be minimum grey areas, and therefore, drafting of laws requires special attention,” he said, adding that though no law an can have “zero defects”, the grey areas in legislations can be reduced.

Without going into the details of pendency in litigation and corruption in the Judiciary, Modi hoped the conclave of judges would suggest some fresh approaches to deal with these issues.

He said Lok Adalats were an effective way of dispensing justice for the common man, and this mechanism should be strengthened further.

Laying stress on the importance of family courts, Modi said such institutions were necessary as families were fast breaking up and there was a need to check the trend.

He stressed the need for preparing for emerging areas of litigation such as maritime law and cybercrime. He said acquaintance with forensic science is now a must for those associated with the legal profession.