Purity of Character II

There can be no rule of law, there can be no democracy unless there is a strong, fearless and independent Judiciary. This independence and fearlessness is not only expected at the level of the Superior Courts but also from the District Judiciary. Most litigants only come in contact with the District Judiciary. They cannot afford to come to the High Court or the Supreme Court. For them the last word is the word of the Magistrate or at best the Sessions Judge. Therefore, it is equally important, if not more important, that the Judiciary at the District Level and at the Taluka Level is absolutely honest, fearless and free from any pressure and is able to decide cases only on the basis of the facts on file, uninfluenced by any pressure from any quarters whatsoever.

No doubt, there has to be zero tolerance for corruption and if there are allegations of corruption, misconduct or of acts unbecoming a Judicial Officer, these must be dealt with strictly. In Ramesh Chander Singh v. High Court of Allahabad, (2007) 4 SCC 247 a Three-Judge Bench of this Court, after considering the entire law on the subject, including the authorities referred to above, clearly disapproved the practice of initiating disciplinary proceedings against the Officers of the District Judiciary merely because the Judgment/Orders passed by them are wrong. However, if wrong Orders are passed that should not lead to disciplinary action unless there is evidence that the wrong Orders have been passed for extraneous reasons and not because of the reasons on the file.

We again reiterate that unless there are clear-cut allegations of misconduct, extraneous influences, gratification of any kind etc., disciplinary proceedings should not be initiated merely on the basis that a wrong/incorrect Order has been passed by the Judicial Officer.”

Hon’ble Justice Deepak Gupta, Krishna Prasad Verma v. State of Bihar, [Civil Appeal No. 8950 of 2011].