Public perception that judges lead luxurious lives in ivory towers not true: Justice NV Ramana


New Delhi : Justice NV Ramana, the second seniormost judge of the Supreme Court, on Saturday said that the public perception that judges lead a life of luxury in their ivory towers is incorrect and added that they have to balance their social lives in order to be independent.

“There seems to be a misunderstanding that judges lead a life of luxury in their ivory towers. That is not true. Judges have to balance their social lives in order to be independent,” Justice Ramana said, while delivering a lecture at a book release function.

Justice Ramana said that now a days judges have become soft target of criticism and especially with the proliferation of social media, he said, “judges have seem to become subject to juicy gossip.”

The senior Supreme Court judge was speaking at a function for the release of a book titled “Judiciary, Judges, and the administration of Justice” written by a former judge of the Supreme Court, Justice (Retired) R Banumathi.

Justice Ramana said that the judges are self restraint to speak on issues and on the institution (judiciary). Praising the book of Justice (R) Banumathi, Justice Ramana said she has immense experience in the bench and to the institution of the judiciary.

“She worked tirelessly for 32 years, rendering justice to litigants. She is a fearless and dynamic judge,” he said.

Chief Justice of India (CJI) Sharad Arvind Bobde, while releasing the book, said that this is a unique book as it gives valuable insight into this colossal institution of the Judiciary.

CJI Bobde said that she worked in the judiciary over three decades. She started working when she was only 33-year-old and goes on to map her judicial career. He said that her experience is diverse, she has learnt something different, something new, and many new aspects.

Describing her qualities as a sincere judge, CJI Bobde, said that her dedication, determination, devotion for cause of the judiciary is immense. For judges, the biggest challenge is that how this institution receives the goals, the Constitution sets for it, the CJI said.

CJI Bobde said that it is an important issue for everyone, to maintain a balance between one’s mental health and the effect of the pandemic on people.

“The apex court, in this regard, has taken an initiative already for helping people to ensure that they ensure their mental health and the system is also providing mental health advice. The Secretary-General very soon in this regard, will announce the initiative soon,” CJI Bobde said.

He said that the COVID-19 pandemic had brought about two things — depression tendency and unnecessary aggression. “We need to address these issues also,” he added.

He also said that there is an uncomfortable prediction about the suicide pandemic and that he sincerely hope it doesn’t happen.

The CJI announced a new initiative by the Supreme Court to address mental health issues. He said that provisions will be made, and announced shortly by Secretary General, to provide professional mental health advice.

CJI said, post pandemic, we will have and see an exponential increase in pendency of cases. He also stressed on the fact that thereby in many cases, mediation is necessary at pre litigation and or post litigation stage, to clear the backlog of cases.

He said that freedom of speech of the judges are curtailed by same laws that uphold the freedom for others who use it to criticise the judiciary and judges.
Another judge, Justice Dr D Y Chandrahud, present on the function, said, “We can agree that this is not a post-retirement project but the work on this book had begun much earlier. For a judge to do this, while having to work through hundreds of SLPs are remarkable.”

“A judge remains a Judge for 365 days and 24/7 before and after demitting office. Sister (Justice Retired Banumathi), has a vast experience beginning from her days as a Judge in the District Judiciary. “She is a dedicated judge” Justice Dr Chandrachud said.

Remembering Justice Banumathi’s devotion towards her work, he said, when she was a judge in the Supreme Court, she would be completely lost in thoughts about the cases she was assigned hearing even during the lunch hour. (ANI)