New Delhi: At his farewell function on Friday, outgoing Chief Justice of India (CJI), S.A. Bobde, emphasised on the quality of communication between the bar and the bench, terming it as important for a healthy judicial system.
He stressed that it is possible to accept that the judge does not agree with the arguments made by the lawyer, and it does not reflect adversely on the skill of the lawyer, or his ability to persuade.
“It is human nature; everybody cann’t agree with everything. It is important to gracefully accept the decision contrary to your submissions,” Bobde said while speaking at the farewell organised by the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA).
Earlier in the day, a bench headed by Bobde had rapped several senior lawyers for criticising it for allegedly taking over the hearing of the ongoing Covid-19 related cases from various high courts.
The bench had told senior advocate Dushyant Dave, one of the counsels who had questioned the top court decision in the matter, “You have imputed motives to us without reading our order.”
During the hearing, the top court clarified that it did not transfer Covid related cases to itself and expressed anguish at the lawyers for commenting on the matter without reading the court order.
Making his farewell speech, Bobde said: “But there is one area where we need to pay a lot of attention. That is, communication and relationship between the bar and the bench. I do not wish to criticise anybody. I am sure there are people at fault on both sides. But mutual respect is necessary for the excellent functioning of the judicial system.”
Bobde added that he did not to say that the society should become something where everybody gives compliments to each other and overlooks each other’s faults.
“But I say that this communication and relationship depend on the fulfilling of the most important function of the judiciary, which is to protect life, liberty and property of the citizens. There is no need to become a mutual admiration society, but nonetheless, we must work in a way that is harmonious, nourishing and fulfils the purpose of the system,” Bobde added.
Bobde demitted the office of the CJI after 43 years in legal profession, where he rose from a lawyer in Nagpur to the highest seat of dispensation of justice.
Earlier, he was a judge at the Bombay High Court and the Chief Justice of Madhya Pradesh High Court. He was elevated to the top court on April 12, 2013 and assumed the office of CJI on November 17, 2019.
Bobde was a part of the five-judge Constitution bench which unanimously delivered the Ayodhya verdict.