Judges are servants of Constitution not masters: CJI

Kolkata, June 29 (UNI) Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud on Saturday opined that the judges are the servants of the Constitution and not masters as he batted for more empathy among the judges, who he said must do their service without being judgmental.

“The judges are the servants of the Constitution and not a master,” the CJI said while addressing the Regional Conference of the National Judicial Academy at the Town Hall in the city.

“I am a little reticent when I am told that this is the temple of justice. There is a grave perception that we are perceived as deities in the temple. I am recasting the role of judges as the servers of the people.

“By doing that, you bring in the notion of compassion and empathy in judging others but not being judgmental about others,” the Supreme Court top judge said.

He said there are many barriers in the judicial system, but those have been minimised with the advent of technology, which could translate hundreds of regional languages from English for the benefit of the commoners.

“Technology can provide us all with some answers. Most judgements are written in English. Technology has enabled us to translate them. We are translating 51,000 judgements in other languages,” the Supreme Court chief justice said.

He said during COVID-19, the judiciary was decentralised owing to the help of technology. He said over 51,000 verdicts have been translated for the benefit of the litigants, including those in Bengali and Oriya.

He also underlines the morality of the constitutional obligations.

The CJI expressed concern over the lethargy in hearing the bail applications, and said this “was not a model of the judicial system”.

He also observed that the high courts should also monitor if its bail order to any person was implemented, as the bureaucratic system affects the quick disposal of the order.

Justice Chandrachud said that even while sentencing anyone in a criminal case, the judges must do that with a sense of compassion, since at the end, a human being is being sentenced.

“So these concepts of constitutional morality, which I think are the key, not just for the judges of the Supreme Court or the High Court but also for the district judiciary itself, because the engagement of the common citizen begins first and foremost with the district judiciary,” the CJI said.

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