Trial Judges and Magistrates have responsibility to safeguard the fundamental rights of the citizens- SC

In a recent case, the Supreme Court remarked that trial judges and Magistrates have as much responsibility as the Supreme Court to safeguard the citizens’ fundamental rights. The Court also emphasized the role of the lower judiciary in preventing abuse of the process of law.

Hon’ble Court also remarked that the instant case should not have reached the Supreme Court and proceeded to quash the Magistrate’s order who had issued the process in a lodged complaint after six years Non-Cognisable Report regarding the same incident which was registered against the same accused.

The Court stated that when a Magistrate receives a complaint, he must scrutinize the allegations first, see if it is a case of frivolous litigation, and check if the material on record supports the complaint. As per the Bench, it is the duty of the Trial Judge to identify and dismiss frivolous litigation by exercising powers vested in him.

Regarding the backlog of cases in the judicial system, the Court stated that frivolous litigation is one of the leading factors. The Court remarked that curtailing vexatious litigation is crucial to get a more effective judicial system, and this step needs to involve the lower judiciary.

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Lastly, the Bench remarked that after the criminal justice system is set in motion, it is entirely dependent upon the Magistrate’s application of mind. The Court added power to issue summoning orders is of grave importance, and Magistrate should only issue such an order only if a proper case is made.

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