Need to restore people’s faith in judiciary

Apropos of H.K. Dua’s front-page editorial “Appeal to the Supreme Court” (April 21), when 25 Judges of the Punjab and Haryana High Court go on casual leave for a day in protest against the attitude of the Chief Justice, it is certainly unprecedented. Judges, in principle, condemn strike and describe it as illegal and counter-productive. Didn’t they realise its consequences when they decided to go on leave? They owe an apology to the people for having caused inconvenience to them.

Surely, the Judges should have showed their resentment in other ways. They are not industrial workers or government servants. They are constitutional functionaries. What would society think of them? This kind of action was unheard of in the annals of judicial history.

Reports say the matter flared up when the Chief Justice sought an explanation from two Judges regarding their ex-officio free membership of a club involved in litigation. People have the right to know about the Judges as transparency and accountability are necessary for effective administration of justice. In a democracy, justice is an open book and is subject to fair criticism. The Chief Justice and the Judges should realise that they must work harmoniously and give due respect to each other. Only then, the image of the High Court will get enhanced.



The ball is now in the Supreme Court to enforce judicial discipline as it is accountable for the conduct of the erring Judges. The Supreme Court has laid down an in-house procedure for dealing with the erring Judges. It is based on brotherhood code of ethics. If a Judge does not agree with the findings of the in-house committee, there is no remedy except impeachment by Parliament.

It is not too late to restore people’s faith in the judiciary. The Supreme Court should ensure that such a situation does not arise again. The Judges may be transferred as a corrective measure and to ensure smooth functioning of the High Court.

Justice R.K. Mahajan (retd), Shimla


As many as 25 judges going on leave together is not only against the interest of the general public but also against the ethics of judiciary. Going on leave together amounts to resorting to strike by judges. On the one hand, the judiciary passes the order against trade unions for going on strike. And, on the other hand, judges themselves boycott work by going on leave.

As mentioned by Mr H.K. Dua in his front-page editorial (April 21), it is only the Supreme Court which can take necessary action to ensure that the rule of law is applicable to all with no discrimination between the members of the judiciary and other organisations.

Lt-Col B.S. GHUMAN (retd), Jalandhar Cantonment


We need to examine five pertinent questions that arise on the issue of the judges’ leave. One, whether the action of 25 judges in taking mass leave is justified. Two, whether the judges are answerable to the public, directly or indirectly. Three, whether going on mass leave amounts to going on strike. Four, if the answer to the three preceding questions is positive, whether the principle of “No Work No Pay” should be applicable in the case of 25 Judges. And finally, whether the litigants who made their way to Chandigarh, having spent a lot of time and money, are entitled to be compensated, and if so, who should defray the costs?

Legal alumni and intellectuals all over the country should throw light on these questions as this is the first case of its kind in India. The people in a democracy have the right to know what is happening in the country.

H.K. SHARMA, Rishi Mohalla, Nawashahr

Reducing rush at PGI

Nowadays, there has been an unprecedented rush at the Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), popularly known as PGI, at Chandigarh. Unfortunately, cases which can be dealt with by state government hospitals in Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir are referred to the PGI only because of the lack of infrastructural facilities in these hospitals.

There is an acute shortage of doctors, faculty members, surgeons and skilled paramedical staff in government hospitals. Their continued neglect by successive governments has led to the mushrooming of private hospitals and nursing homes whose services are costlier and beyond the reach of the common man. The result: patients are forced to knock the doors of the PGI.

There is a need to improve the quality of healthcare facilities available in government hospitals. The infrastructure will have to be upgraded so that the PGI can take up serious cases and those requiring expert advice and guidance. This is one way of ensuring that the PGI achieves the purpose for which it was set up.

M. P. SINGH, Chandigarh


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