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Judges should not have ego problems: SC
‘Flaunting powers unnecessarily brings disrepute to the judiciary’
R Sedhuraman
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, March 10
The Supreme Court has advised the high court judges against “flaunting” their “tremendous powers” in order to avoid bringing the judiciary into disrepute.“Unless one has modesty and humility, he may play havoc. High court judges have tremendous powers, but the beauty lies in not exercising those powers except where absolutely necessary.

Flaunting these powers unnecessarily only brings the judiciary into disrepute,” a Bench comprising Justices Markandey Katju and Gyan Sudha Misra observed in an order.

The Bench passed the order on a petition challenging the Allahabad High Court summoning the Principal Secretary, Finance, along with the Principal Secretary, Medical and Health, of the Uttar Pradesh Government. The summons had been issued for non-compliance of the HC judgments of November 15, 1989, and December 13, 1989.

The SC has been repeatedly observing that the high courts ordinarily should not summon senior officials of the government and that should be done only in very rare and exceptional cases when there were compelling circumstances to do so, the Bench pointed out.

“We are pained to observe that despite our decision in State of Gujarat vs. Turabali Gulamhussain Hirani many HCs are persisting in summoning executive officials where it is not absolutely necessary to summon them,” the Bench observed.

“Judges should not have any ego problems. In particular, members of the higher judiciary (HC and SC) should have great modesty and humility. This is because the higher one moves in the hierarchy, the greater become his powers. Hence, unless one has modesty and humility, he may play havoc,” the apex court held.

It was only in some extreme case where the HC was convinced that deliberately the order of the court had been ignored in a spirit of defiance, it should summon the official to explain why the order had not been complied with.

“The system functions on mutual respect between the judiciary and the executive,” the apex court noted.





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