Misra J I

Recently, Sophocles has found a place in a Judgment authored by Hon’ble Justice Dipak Misra  [State of Punjab v. Saurabh Bakshi, Criminal Appeal No. 520 of 2015]. Sophocles has never been quoted before, though Euripides was mentioned once [(1985) 3 SCC 398]. The Iyeresque style of Justice Misra is undeniable and I have commented on it before. Here are some notable proofs of the gradually emergent style:

On Reputation

Reputation is fundamentally a glorious amalgam and unification of virtues, which makes a man feel proud of his ancestry and satisfies him to bequeath it as a part of inheritance on the posterity. It is nobility in itself for which a conscientious man would never barter it with all the tea of China or for that matter all the pearls of the sea. The said virtue has both horizontal and vertical qualities. When reputation is hurt, a man is half-dead. It is an honour which deserves to be equally preserved by the down trodden and the privileged. The aroma of reputation is an excellence, which cannot be allowed to be sullied with the passage of time. The memory of nobility no one would like to lose; none would conceive of it being atrophied. It is dear to life and on some occasions it is dearer than life. And that is why it has become an inseparable facet of Article 21 of the Constitution. No one would like to have his reputation dented. One would like to perceive it as an honour rather than popularity. When a Court deals with a matter that has something likely to affect a person’s reputation, the normative principles of law are to be cautiously and carefully adhered to. The advertence has to be sans emotion and sans populist perception, and absolutely in accord with the doctrine of audi alteram partem before anything adverse is said [(2014) 5 SCC 417].

On Marriage

Marriage as a social institution is an affirmance of civilized social order where two individuals, capable of entering into wedlock, have pledged themselves to the institutional norms and values and promised to each other a cemented bond to sustain and maintain the marital obligation. It stands as an embodiment for continuance of the human race. Despite the pledge and promises, on certain occasions, individual incompatibilities, attitudinal differences based upon egocentric perception of situations, maladjustment phenomenon or propensity for non-adjustment or refusal for adjustment gets eminently projected that compels both the spouses to take intolerable positions abandoning individual responsibility, proclivity of asserting superiority complex, betrayal of trust which is the cornerstone of life, and sometimes a pervert sense of revenge, a dreadful diet, or sheer sense of envy bring the cracks in the relationship when either both the spouses or one of the spouses crave for dissolution of marriage-freedom from the institutional and individual bond [(2014) 7 SCC 640].

On Criminal Trials

If one is asked a question, what afflicts the legally requisite criminal trial in its conceptual eventuality in this country the two reasons that may earn the status of phenomenal signification are, first, procrastination of trial due to non-availability of witnesses when the trial is in progress and second, unwarranted adjournments sought by the counsel conducting the trial and the unfathomable reasons for acceptation of such prayers for adjournments by the Trial Courts, despite a statutory command under Section 309 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 and series of pronouncements by this Court. What was a malady at one time, with the efflux of time, has metamorphosed into malignancy. What was a mere disturbance once has become a disorder, a diseased one, at present [2015 (1) SCALE 542].

On Constitutional Democracies

In a respectable and elevated constitutional democracy purity of election, probity in governance, sanctity of individual dignity, sacrosanctity of rule of law, certainty and sustenance of independence of judiciary, efficiency and acceptability of bureaucracy, credibility of institutions, integrity and respectability of those who run the institutions and prevalence of mutual deference among all the wings of the State are absolutely significant, in a way, imperative. They are not only to be treated as essential concepts and remembered as glorious precepts but also to be practiced so that in the conduct of every individual they are concretely and fruitfully manifested. The crucial recognized ideal, which is required to be realized, is eradication of criminalization of politics and corruption in public life. When criminality enters into the grass-root level as well as at the higher levels there is a feeling that ‘monstrosity‘ is likely to wither away the multitude and eventually usher in a dreadful fear that would rule supreme creating an incurable chasm in the spine of the whole citizenry. In such a situation the generation of today, in its effervescent ambition and volcanic fury, smothers the hopes, aspirations and values of tomorrow’s generation and contaminate them with the idea to pave the path of the past, possibly thinking, that is the noble tradition and corruption can be a way of life and one can get away with it by a well decorated exterior. But, an intervening and pregnant one, there is a great protector, and an unforgiving one, on certain occasions and some situations, to interdict – “The Law”, the mightiest sovereign in a civilized society [2015 (2) SCALE 1].