Justice BR Gavai Calls Out High Court Judges for Lack of Punctuality and Unprofessional Conduct

In a candid address at a regional conference of the National Judicial Academy in Kolkata, Supreme Court Justice BR Gavai expressed serious concerns over the lack of punctuality and proper conduct among some High Court judges in India.

Justice Gavai highlighted alarming trends, noting that certain judges frequently delay their court sessions and display unprofessional behavior towards lawyers. “It is shocking to know that some of the judges, though the court timings are from 10:30 AM to 1:30 PM, sit at 11:30 AM and get up at 12:30 PM. Furthermore, some do not even sit in the second half,” he remarked.

This lack of discipline extends beyond punctuality. Justice Gavai pointed out the detrimental impact of judges canvassing for elevation to the Supreme Court, a practice he described as harmful to judicial discipline. “It is painful to mention that some judges even go to the extent of canvassing their candidature for elevation. Such actions undermine the principle of discipline that we should uphold,” Justice Gavai added.

Addressing another significant issue, the Supreme Court judge criticized the inappropriate treatment of lawyers by some judges, emphasizing that judges and lawyers are “co-equal partners in the administration of justice.” He stated, “Misbehaving with lawyers does not enhance the dignity of the institution but rather undermines it.”

Justice Gavai also expressed concern over the practice of unnecessarily summoning senior government officials to court, which he believes should be curtailed. “Some judges derive pleasure by calling senior executives to court at the drop of a hat, which can impede their ability to perform their duties effectively,” he explained.

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Furthermore, he highlighted the challenges posed by the instant communication era, where judges’ remarks during live telecasts can be misquoted and taken out of context. “Every word spoken in a courtroom can be rapidly shared and often distorted on social media platforms,” he cautioned, stressing the need for judges to remain impervious to external pressures to preserve their objectivity and the integrity of the judicial process.

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