A Judge Is Considered Finest If He Comments Against Government, Passes Anti-Establishment Judgments: Justice Ajay Rastogi
A farewell function in honour of Justices K.M. Joseph, Ajay Rastogi and V. Ramasubramanian by the Supreme Court Bar Association was held yesterday in the Supreme Court auditorium.
In addition to the retiring judges, CJI DY Chandrachud, the President and Vice President of the SCBA and Attorney General R. Venkataramani spoke during the event.
During this speech, Justice Ajay Rastogi said that a judge is considered the finest Judge if he or she comments against the government and passes anti-establishment judgments. He also added that the media supports this narrative. He said that he has realized this over the past few years and that he wants to convey this to the members of the Bar.
"If somebody wants to say that I am an independent judge, unbiased judge, my understanding which has come to me, decide the matters anti-establishment. Give your opinion against the government, you are an independent judge. I said no", Justice Rastogi said.
He said that judges are supposed to decide the matters on the basis of materials on record. "Whether it goes this way or that way is not the consideration. But this thing is being perceived by the people at large and the media also supports it", he said.
"You make a comment against the government, everybody will say happy, finest judge. Give judgment anti-establishment, finest judge", he said, adding that this perception needs a change. He said that judges may decide cases against the government or in favour of the government, pro-establishment or anti-establishment but they are done on the basis of the material on record.
He said that as per his understanding, justice is done when the judge hears the matter patiently, gives an opportunity of hearing to the parties and decides matters on the basis of evidence on record.
"If I decide two judgments in favor of the petitioners I am the best judge in the Supreme Court. This is being perceived by the people. And if this thing continues, God knows what will happen. So my request is, please introspect", he said.
"The message must go that the Courts are not concerned with who is on the right and who is on the left. This Court is only concerned as to who is right amongst the two", Justice Rastogi said.
Justice Rastogi also said that persons who can afford a good battery of lawyers get indulgence from the Court. "I always say in this Court also, and I feel it, a person who can afford a good battery of lawyers, they get Indulgence. But a person who is sitting third in the third row, fourth row wants to say something, nobody wants to hear it. This Court is meant for every citizen, for every grievance, for every complaint which he makes to the Court. And whosoever knocked the Court must be respected, must be given the same Indulgence without any discrimination among the persons who are approaching to this Court", the judge said.
He also said during his speech that justice delivery is not possible without the assistance of the members of the bar. "I don't think it will be possible for judges to decide the cases and your role is more important than even the judges'. If you are not giving us full materials it's not possible for us to deliver justice to the people at the earliest", Justice Rastogi said.
Justice Ajay Rastogi will retire on June 17. The farewell for the three judges was held yesterday since all of them will retire during the summer vacation that has begun.