UPSC IAS Interview 2017-18

A Guide to be a good judge

Speech by Hon'ble Chief Justice Mr. Deepak Verma

My esteemed Brother Judges, Members of the Registry, Members of the Sub-ordinate Judiciary, Director and his team of Judicial Academy, delegates of this batch, ladies and gentlemen, my very good evening to you.

It is indeed the matter of great pleasure to be with all of you this evening. I am happy that I have been bestowed with this task of throwing light to you about my experiences, firstly as an Advocate and thereafter, as a Judge.

No doubt it is true that you all are new having successfully completed one year's strenuous training, but I am latest as I have taken oath of Chief Justice only on 6th March, 2009. Thus, I am just two days old as a Chief Justice.

When it was told that your training programme would come to an end today, then I thought that I must come and address you, otherwise you may feel that head of the family has not addressed you. It was also at the insistence of Hon'ble Mr. Justice Prakash Chand Tatia and Hon'ble Mr. Justice Mohammad Rafiq, whose advocacy prevailed over me. Most of you must be aware that before my elevation as Judge I had practiced for about twenty two years at Jabalpur, thus I thought it fit to share my own experience with you.

Since you have already undergone training of legal ethics law subjects, time management, your conduct and behaviour, I would not like to touch the subject of law in the speech.

We all belong to Hindi speaking State, but in judiciary English language has yet not been given a complete go by, thus knowledge of English is almost essential. If you are not so fluent and well-versed with the language then there is no harm, if you join any of the tutorial classes to acquire perfection in it.

Actually with the passage of time, when you are likely to come within the zone of consideration for elevation as Judge of High Court, at that time it would pay you every heavy dividends.

I would like to give you one example. One of the senior-most lady District & Sessions Judge who had already come within the zone of consideration for elevation as Judge of the High Court was required to send her selected judgments on civil and criminal matters both. She was kind enough to send twenty of her judgments touching both the sides, but believe you me, not even one was in English. I, therefore, had my own reservation in sending her name, I declined. But after I left Madhya Pradesh, her name was sent, but still she could not be appointed as it was not approved by the Supreme Court. I do not want, any one of you to undergo this turmoil. Do not take it as a warning, but it is a request to you as a "karta" of the family.

No Doubt, it is true that Hindi is a beautiful language but in our system English is still has more weightage than Hindi. We must have also noticed that all law journals are in English only.

I was delighted to learn that prior to your selection and appointed, most of you were practicing advocated in District Courts. Thus, you have dual experience of advocate first and now as Judge. Obviously, you have seen both sides of the coin.

While practicing as an Advocate, if you have noticed some shortcomings or failure on the part of the then Presiding Judges, then this is the time when you have to mend your ways; please do not try to repeat with what you have been hurt earlier when you appeared before those errant Judges. This is one of the ways to improve you own conduct and behaviour.

First and foremost in the list would be commitment. The task of dispensation of justice is not only tough but onerous also. Unless you have great degree of commitment to the same, you are not likely to get the divine pleasure of doing justice. Get yourself fully engrossed in to it. Treat it as your "Dharma" and then work as "Karma Yogi".

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Next most important is honesty and integrity. I need not say, that judges, by their very nature of work, required to be performed, have to be absolutely upright and honest. If anyone has inclination to deviate from the path of honesty even once, then you take it from me that it shall be difficult for them to follow the path of honesty in future. It is like a lion tasting human blood once, then he becomes a man eater. Avoid it at any cost, however big the allurement may be there.

Next in line would be conduct and attitude of Judges with the members of the Bar. How crucial and important it is? I put a question to myself as to how I am going to gain, if I become rude or curt to an Advocate. Then I thought to myself that it would only shoot up my blood pressure and nothing else. Thus one should be as polite and polished to them as it may be possible to do.

You have only to show your teeth and they must realise that they are not only for show but are capable of biting also, even though they may not be used for it. Everyone has too much stress and tension in life, why should we unnecessarily add to our miseries, if the same can be conveniently avoided by controlling ourselves. I hope, I am clear to you.

Here, I would like to narrate my own incident. While I was at Indore Bench, I was assigned the writ petitions of all types. Those days, there used to be only one writ court, where all types of matters used to come. Senior Advocate was arguing one matter for admission and stay. I directed issuance of notices to the respondents, so as to know their say also. But he vehemently pressed for interim stay, which I was not inclined to grant, at that time. In the process, both of us lost temper and atmosphere was fully charged. I almost scolded him and did not grant stay as prayed for.

During recess, when I came to by chamber, I stood before God and asked him to be pardoned for my misconduct in that case, particularly with a senior Advocate. While I was praying my jamedar came and informed me that same senior Advocate has come to meet me. I immediately called him and told him about my prayers. Believe me, he had come with 'Prasad' for me which he had offered to Lord Hanuman, in temple situated within the High Court premises, for his own rude and impertinent behaviour. I had tears in my eyes. I was emotionally moved.

Ever since then I have taken a vow not to be rude, uncourteous or curt to any one, much less to the litigants or Advocates. I am happy, God has been kind to me to give courage and strength to keep the said promise. Though this is a small story but has a great message into it. So please follow it religiously. On the contrary, errant and rude Advocate would himself mend his ways so as to have a soothing effect in your court.

Be patient. It is a virtue to be developed. You must reach the Court fully prepared with all your cases listed in the Court but, do not come with predetermined mind as it may greatly prejudice one of the parties. Coming prepared with your notes has many advantages. Firstly, it would cut short lengthy arguments, obviously it would be less time consuming and even complicated matters can be heard and disposed of early; one advantage of it that I can see, is that unnecessary lengthy arguments likely to be advanced by learned members of the Bar can be greatly controlled but, while doing so, please maintain the decorum of the Court; do not loose your temper and never forget that you have to be courteous and humble to them in stopping them. We are paid for hearing and advocates are paid for arguing, thus, both of us are required to perform our duties but, let it be in a peaceful and congenial atmosphere.

Another mode by which you can effectively control the work of your Court is to have the cause list of your Court published one day before and get it pasted on the notice board in your Court and one copy be available with the Court Reader. Try to take up the matters in your Court as per the cause-list. Interlocutory applications may be taken up in the first half, and thereafter, the evidence of witnesses may be recorded. If lengthy arguments are to be heard on some interlocutory application, then it can even be posted after the break. The arguments of main matter on merits should be heard after the break. As mentioned above, if you are yourself prepared, then it will not take long time.

I was happy to learn that you have also been given lectures on time management. Time management is one issue to which we do not give due importance. In the present scenario, time management has its own role rather an important role. Unless you have the concept of time management, you will not be able to finish up the day's work. If you are not able to meet the day's target, then it is the time when you have to cut short of your one hour's sleep or so.

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Then next in line would be compatibility. Compatibility, which used to exist earlier between Bar and Bench is now fast depleting. You have to go deep into the matter and an endeavour should be made to restore it as it used to be earlier. It should not be constructed that Judges are required to be close to Advocates or litigants. It is a question of congenial, pleasant and working atmosphere to be created in courts.

I will give you one living example that had taken place in Madhya Pradesh High Court at Jabalpur. It was some time in the year 1975 or so. One of the Senior Judge summoned Mr. M.M. Sapre, Senior Advocate, who was the standing counsel for the Electricity Board. For that particular month Hon'ble Judge got the electricity bill, far exceeding the amount expected by him. He was disturbed. Mr. Sapre took the bill and told him he would look into it. Next day he got it rectified, which suited the Hon'ble Judge and gave it to him in his chambers. Same day, Mr. Sapre's, Second Appeal for admission against a reversing judgment was listed. He argued it with full force but as was expected, it was dismissed by the said Judge then and there. In the corridors Mr. Sapre told me that the order of dismissal was perfectly justified and in accordance with law and that is what he had expected. Tell me as to which Judge or Advocate would behave in this fashion today. This is what is expected from the Bench.

I need not emphasise that judges have to be punctual. Punctuality is the key to success. It should be observed strictly. If you do not sit on time, on the ground that you will be sitting late in the evening, is not justified. As by doing so you are unnecessarily putting the advocates and the litigants to inconvenience. If you sit on time and arrange your court Diary, accordingly lawyers will also be able to match with your timings. In that case, you would not be required to unnecessarily wait for the Advocate.

Another aspect of the matter is whenever any witness is present, then every endeavor should be made to get his evidence recorded so that he may be discharged on the same day. As it is, even for the litigants it is difficult to come to court, then you can well imagine the plight of witnesses who are required to come to give evidence at the behest of litigants.

While writing orders or judgments, let the same not reflect or display any judicial dishonesty. What I mean to say is whatever arguments have been advanced by both parties, must be narrated in short in the order or judgment and whenever citations have been given in support of their respective contentions, the same may also be mentioned in it. If according to your opinion, the said judgment would not be applicable to the facts of the case, then reasons may be assigned in this regard. The orders should be short, crisp and reasoned.

Always keep in mind that judgments and orders should be pronounced on the same day when they have been fixed for the said purposes. It is desirable that too much delay in pronouncing the judgments and orders is not good for the institution as one starts getting feeling that may be other party has already approached the learned judge, even though it may not be true at all. Why to give chance to any litigant to come to such an unreasonable conclusion? Whatever matters have been argued and heard by you on Saturday, see to it that it at least rough judgment or order of the same are ready before next working day, i.e. Monday. Otherwise cases would be piled up in your Court and then it will be difficult for you to deliver judgment in the same as one tends to forget.

Everyone is worried about the arrears of cases which are mounting every day in courts. It has already been declared by the Supreme Court that right to speedy trial is an essential part of fundamental right to life and liberty enshrined under Article 21 of the Constitution. This has been held so in Hussainara Khatoon vs. Home Secretary, State of Bihar and in Sheel Barse vs. Union of India. The following passage of the Supreme Court is essential to be quoted:
"The consequence of violation of fundamental right to speedy trial would mean that the prosecution itself would be liable to be quashed on the ground that it is in breach of the fundamental right."
Judiciary is considered as the last interpreter of the Constitution and is thus sentinel at qui vive to defend the constitutional essentials, promises and aspirations of we, the people. Here I would like to quote what former Chief Justice of India Mr. Justice R.C. Lahoti once stated:
"The seekers of justice approach the Courts of justice with pain and anguish in their hearts on having faced legal problems and having suffered physically and psychologically. They do not take law into their own hands as they believe that they would get justice from the Courts........ we owe an obligation to them to deliver quick and inexpensive justice shorn of the complexities of procedure."

Concerted efforts are required to be made by us and the members of the Bar both to control the huge pendency. If we are not able to do it today, then I am sure, with the huge pendency the whole system is going to be crumbled down.

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Now with the amendment in the Code of civil procedure and the Code of Criminal Procedure, many modes are being provided for early and quick disposal of the matters; try to adopt those methods, but while doing so, do not exert any pressure on either of the party. You have only to explore that as to what would be the repercussion if the matter is kept pending for many years; ultimately, who is going to gain and who is going to loss, if the party who approaches the Court is not able to get quick justice.

Whatever I have said above, though are not exhaustive, but in a nut shell I have tired to summarise the same. By continuous working on the post you are bound to further improve and achieve maturity.

Thanking you and with all good wishes.

Copyright: Rajasthan Judicial Academy, Jodhpur 

Qualities of Judge (Judicial Officer): A guide to become a good judge.

Speech by Hon'ble Justice Dr. AR. Lakshmanan

I am delighted to be here for two reasons: firstly, because I have come back to Rajasthan after a long time. It is good to be amongst one's friends and colleagues. When I left Rajasthan, as its Chief Justice, I carried many sweet memories of my stay here. It is good to revive those memories. Secondly, because I have come back to the project which was started under my tenure as the Chief Justice of Rajasthan. The idea of a Judicial Academy was concretized during my period. It is always a pleasure to see the seeds sprout and turn into a spaling, which one had planted. I am delighted to see the first batch of the Rajasthan Judicial Academy having completed its training.

As the "Baghban" (gardener) of this garden, I wish to congratulate you on your achievements. But I also wish to warn you. With your dedication and motivation, you have already crossed many hurdles. As you cross threshold, you will enter a brave new world: a world which will tempt your heart, tease your mind, and test your soul. Like Arjun when you enter this battlefield of Kurushtra, you must know your mission, and be well equipped to achieve your goal.

I am extremely happy to be amongst you to address you on the occasion of the valedictory function of Judicial Officers training programme which is going to enlighten you on various aspects of judicial work. I congratulate you all, for joining the judicial fraternity.

The Indian Judicial System is constantly exposed to new challenges, new dimensions and new signals and has to survive a world in which perhaps the only real certainty is that the circumstances of tomorrow will not be the same as those of today.

Judiciary today is more deserving of public confidence than ever before.
Our Judiciary throughout the Union of India have earned a reputation for great integrity and independence. We are proud of it. We, the members of the Judicial hierarchy have inherited the legacy of dedicated collective endeavour by the Bench and the Bar and establishing an unbroken tradition of high efficiency, perfect integrity and fearless independence. The true touch stone for measuring the success of a Judicial institution is the degree of confidence reposed in it by the public and it is a matter of great pride that our country has earned for itself the fullest respect and confidence of the public of the Nation. The Judgments of the Courts are treated with respect and its stature in knowledgeable legal circles is equal to be best amongst other Courts in this land.

The Judiciary has a special role to play in the task of achieving socio-economic goals enshrined in the Constitution while maintaining their aloofness and independence; the Judges have to be aware of the social changes in the task of achieving socio-economic justice for the people.
Socrates said that four things improve a great Judge:
  1. to hear, courteously;
  2. to answer wisely;
  3. to consider soberly; and
  4. to decide impartially
You, the Judges of the subordinate judiciary which can be termed as the root of our judicial system the society look forward to have the judicial officers who may be trusted and who can inspire confidence in the society will get justice. It is rightly said that Judicial Officers discharge divine functions though they are not divine themselves. I am aware of the fact that majority of the Judicial Officers of the State are discharging their judicial functions in a befitting manner but I, being the member of Judiciary in the Supreme Court desire from every judicial Officer of the Subordinate Judiciary to lead a disciplined life as a Judicial Officer. I expect that Judges of all cadres to strictly observe punctuality in court. Sitting in court late, without reasonable cause, leads to frustration to the litigants attending your court. Laxity in this behalf is inexcusable. Not adhering to court timings is a serious aberration. It must be avoided at all cost by all of us. Integrity is an essential quality of a Judicial Officer. A Judicial Officer must follow the standards of integrity, morality and behaviour which he sets for others. If a Judge, decides a case wrongly out of motives, it shakes the faith of litigant public and the whole society. Such an officer who does not maintain highest standard of integrity, has no right to continue to occupy the chair as a judicial officer. If a judicial officer is corrupt, then he cannot be allowed to hold such a divine chair of a Judge.

You, the members of the judiciary should pronounce the judgments within the stipulated time. Delay in delivering the judgments will cause untold hardship to the litigants since it will deprive them of their chances of preferring appeals/revisions in tome.

You, the judicial officers should not leave headquarters without informing the District Judges or the Controlling Officers, as the case may be. When you are posted to a particular station, you have to meet your superiors either prior to or after taking charge. In the disciplined hierarchy of judiciary it is imperative that all the officers should maintain cordial relationship with each other so as to maintain the dignity and decorum of the institution.

The Judges must decide cases without fear or favour, affection or illwill, friend or foe. I can assure you that if you are discharging your judicial function as a true judicial officer following the norms then you should not be afraid of frivolous complaints made by persons having vested interest.

You, the officers should apply for permission to leave headquarters with or without pre-fixing or suffixing casual leave and after availing it extend their period of leave etc. along with the medical certificate. No leave application should be submitted at the time of resuming the duties. Such practice is violative of the clear instructions issued by the High Court. You must give a patient hearing to the litigants/Advocates.

You must work very hard, very honest, courteous to the litigants, witnesses and the members of the Bar and discharge you judicial functions with all humility at your command.

When a residential house/flat is allotted to you which have been constructed by the State Government for the judicial officers, you are expected to occupy the same as these houses have been constructed by the State Government in compliance of the directions of the Hon'ble Supreme Court for the welfare of the judicial officers.

There are four personalities who have to play vital parts in the conduct of business in Court. They are; (i) the Judge, (ii) the Members of the Bar, (iii) the officials of the Court, or (iv) the Court staff and the litigant public.

Let us first take the Judge. Many are obsessed with the feeling that a Judge should be of a grandeur personality. Absolutely not. The minimum expected of him is that he should be clean and presentable. He should not be solovenly dressed. There is an aversion for the present dress regulations. I am not bold enough to decry it as meaningless. The reason behind this aversion as I could gather, seems to be a prejudice against the English tradition. I do not covet consensus, but I have a conviction that Judges and members of a particular profession should stand apart as distinct from laymen. I have set in the Bench from 1990 onwards with the present apparel of a Judge hanging on my considerably large - I suppose - physical frame. Personally when I wore the Judge's dress, then only I felt, I had become ready for the day to dispense justice as a Judge. When the Judge speaks, his accent must be clear. His voice should not be too loud and it should not be too low. It must be clearly audible to those who are present.

Unnecessary and unwarranted utterances are bound to embarrass not only others, but the Judge himself, what should be asked, should be asked, what should not be asked should be avoided.

The Judge must learn to hear the counsel first. What the counsel says may not be absolutely correct from the point of view of the Judge. The Judge must always remember that his views entertained at the moment may turn out to be wrong. Hence, with receptivity and with an open mind, the Judge must listen.

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Interruption in the middle should not be made by the Judge. A Judge need not exhibit any hastiness in the matter. At a convenient time, the Judge must politely ask the counsel as to whether he is correct in what he stated before the Court. It would be below the dignity of a Judge to indulge in argument of the Bar in open Court. If the Judge himself is in doubtful sphere, better listen rather than raising questions exposing his ignorance. Receive what is given in Court and eschew what is against Law and facts after thorough analysis and assimilation both in and out of Court, which exercise is part of a Judgeship.
Do not speak out your verdict, unless you propose to pronounce it in open Court then and there. Any shrewd Counsel will certainly discern the mind of the Judge on the verdict. But on no account the Judge shall tell his verdict before he pronounces his verdict.

Courtesy towards the members of the Bar as I already stated is a must for a Judge. In a rarest of rare cases, the language of a member of the Bar may be offensive. The Judge should not loose his temper. Ignoring any such offending behaviour, the Judge must work. But, if offensive behaviour persists, then the Judge has to control it. Otherwise, the decorum of the system will fail. That should not happen. These are all matters of experience of the Judge. There is no hard and fast rule.

The Judge must give due respect to the staff of the Court. The Court staff is part of the Judge himself. The Court staff may commit mistakes in open court. Be discreet and do not expose the mistakes of the staff to the public eye. The Court staff must be treated by the Judge with due respect and dignity in open court. Not even an attender should feel that he has been slighted and be-littled.

We can now go to the Bar, we cannot think of functioning of Courts, without the Members of the Legal Profession. Court etiquette is the topic we are concentrating upon. A member of the Bar must be neatly dressed and must look distinct in his dress. Inconvenience or convenience is not the criterion.
Now, we can take the Court staff. Each member of the court staff must be meticulously dressed. The Court despite many odds must look trim. I know, the Courts do not have adequate furniture. Yet the functioning of the Court can be trim, if the people functioning there are trim in person and naturally in mind, too. The Court staff must see to the functioning of the Court efficiently and effectively. They must treat the members of the Bar with due respect and courtesy. The Court officer to a very great extent knows the progress in each case thoroughly and he will also know the facts of each case tried in the Court. He will effectively guide the conduct of the case in Court. He will be of immense help to the Presiding Officer.

The Personal Assistant or Stenographer or Secretary to the Judge must equally be smart and trim. If the judgment has been dictated besides the open Court Hall, the Personal Assistant must keep it an absolute secret. The trend now-a-days noticed is, the members of the bar and even the public come to know the verdict even before it is pronounced in open Court. How could this happen? I can only say that it should not happen.

The orderlies of the Court have very significant role to play. They should not forget their importance to the functioning of the Court. The Court staff must have distinct dress regulations. My experience as a Judge has taught that dress regulations for each person functioning for Court business is a necessary paraphernalia. If a member of the Court staff comes to Court casually dressed as if going to a cinema hall, how he will carry respect in the eyes of the public? The present dress regulations, it left alone, will be better which shows the Court staff as a distinct entity.

We will now take up the public entering the Court premises. The very atmosphere must instill a fear into the mind of the public that they are entering a very sanctified place, next to a place of worship. Tea stalls and Pan shops and vending of snacks should not come near the Court functioning. It is not a matter of convenience for the public. Convenience should be provided but not at the sacrifice of the dignity and decorum of the functioning of the Courts.

The public must be asked not to indulge in loud talking in Court Hall. They must remain within the enclosures meant for them.

All said, the Court must function bound with the norms of etiquette. I am in favour of strict adherence to Court Etiquette. Now-a-days this is being slowly forgotten. That will be a sad state of affairs.

My dear Judges, the training programme already arranged by the High Court, I hope would be of a great help to all of you at the District Court and other Courts level. You have already undergone training for two months in this campus. Today is the Valedictory Session. After completion of this two months training, each and every one of you will be given posting. I have no doubt whatever that all of you will discharge your duties and functions to the utmost satisfaction of all. You are all young and energetic. If all of you strictly follow and adhere to my advise, you are assured of your bright future in the judicial hierarchy.

I conclude with strong belief and immense faith that the Presiding Officers will conform to established time-tested Court etiquette and uphold the dignity and enhance the decorum of Temples of Justice. I am sure this training programme will keep you in good stead. I wish each and every one of you a successful and fruitful career as judicial officer by the grace of this great Architect of the Universe.

The issue of under-trials detained in various prisons in the country has been a matter of concern. Hon'ble the Prime Minister, while addressing the conference of the Chief Justices reminded the judiciary of its accountability to ensure the speedy disposal of large number of cases pending before various courts. In the same conference, Hon'ble Chief Justice of India Dr. A.S. Anand identified the "acute shortage of courts", the single largest factor responsible for the accumulation of arrears in subordinate courts. It appears that the Central Government realizing the plight of under-trails and to ensure justice to common man, made allocation of Rs. 502 crore for creation of 1734 courts named as "Fast Track Court" all over the country.

A successful judicial system is a hallmark of any developed civilization. The failure of Criminal Justice System to being criminal conduct under tight control is viewed as leading to the break down of the public order and to the disappearance of an important condition of human freedom. The Criminal Justice System has failed to achieve its twin primary goals via; the Control of the crime and the protection of individual rights. The crime control implies orderly efficient method for arresting, prosecuting, convicting and punishing the guilty and for deterring crime by others. The protection of individual rights is necessary to guard the accused against arbitrary exercise of powers by the State. The rising crime rate clearly indicates that the system is not an effective deterrent. The graph of cases of murder, rape, theft, assault, robbery, disorderly conduct and bride burning is in ascending order. The open violation of laws, bribery in public service, presence of professional criminals and intimidation of victims and witnesses are experienced in day-to-day life.

It is not uncommon for any criminal case to drag on for years. During this time, the accused travels from the zone of "anguish" to one of "sympathy". The witnesses are either won over by muscle or money power or they become sympathetic to the accused. As a result, they turn hostile and prosecution fails. In some cases, the recollection becomes fade or the witnesses die. Thus, long delay in courts caused great hardship not only to the accused but even to the victim and the State. The accused, who is not out on bail, may sit in jail for number of months or even years awaiting conclusion of the trial. Thus, effort is required to be made to improve the management of the prosecution in order to increase the certainty of conviction and punishment for most serious offenders. It is experienced that there is increasing laxity in the Court-work by the police personnel, empowered to investigate the case. On the eye of establishment of Fast Track Court on 11th June, 2001, in my message, I asked the State Government to take up the issue of fair and meaningful investigation on high priority. I further add that it is high time when the State Government should create a Special Wing in the Police Department solely for the purpose of investigation and attending court work.

The prosecutorial set up consists of "Public Prosecutors including Additional Public Prosecutors, Special Public Prosecutors and Assistant Public Prosecutors." A prosecutor occupies a unique position in Criminal Justice System. In Hitendra Vishnu Thakur vs. State of Maharashtra, AIR 1994 SC 2623, the Hon'ble Supreme Court observed that public prosecutor is an important officer of the State Government and is appointed by the State under the Code of Criminal Procedure. He is not a part of the investigating agency. He is an independent statutory authority. The success of the trial depends mainly on effective prosecution, which is possible only through well qualified, trained, fair and dedicated prosecutors. It goes without saying that integrity and impartiality of the public prosecutor is essential in the administration of justice. It is unfortunate that no sincere efforts are being made to improve the quality of the management of prosecution in order to secure the fair, just and expeditious conclusion of the trial.

The role of a Judge in controlling the court proceedings is very important. A Judge is expected to actively participate in the trial, elicit necessary material from the witnesses at the appropriate context, which he feels necessary for reaching the correct conclusion. In this context, the apex Court, in Ram Chandra vs. State of Haryana reported in AIR 1981 SC 1036, has observed that:

"The adversary system of trial being what it is, there is an unfortunate tedency for a Judge presiding over a trial to assume the role of a referee or an umpire and to allow the trial to develop into a contest between the prosecution and the defence with inevitable distortions flowing from combative and competitive elements entering the trial procedure. If a Criminal Court is to be an effective instrument in dispensing justice, the presiding Judge must cease to be a spectator and a mere recording machine. He must become a participant in the trial by evincing intelligent active interest by putting questions to witnesses in order to ascertain the truth."

Thus, a Judge is expected to go through the nature of the evidence oral and documentary to be adduced in a case consult the lawyers of both the sides more particularly the accused's lawyer to know the probable time within which he expects to complete the cross examination of a witness. This would enable the Court to formulate the trial schedule for each witness scientifically. A trial Judge must ascertain the whereabouts of each and every witness including the investigating officer so that for want of proper whereabouts of witnesses, trial schedule is not delayed.

Judge have been called the Men of Robes. As men of Robes, at times we forget that we belong to the same fraternity as the other men in robes, namely the lawyers. The bar and the Bench are the two wheels of the chariot of Justice. If one wheel is neglected, the other can not gain speed and efficiency. Therefore, be courteous to and polite with the Bar members. But politeness does not mean that one should be like a carpet, letting every one trample over oneself. One should be polite but firm like an ant: willing to walk on earth, but strong enough to annoy an elephant. Therefore, be polite to the lawyers but be firm with them when need arises. While understanding their difficulties, while adjusting their problems, balance the interest of the litigant as well. For, all of us are there for the sake of the litigant, and not the vice versa. Accommodate a lawyer in adjournment when the need is genuine. But if the need is frivolous, be firm and refuse the adjournment. As a judge it is for you to set the discipline of the court, the decorum of the court. It is a fine balancing act to be firm and yet generous. But it is a skill all judges must develop.

Of course, you have to gain the respect of the people and of the Bar with your behavior and knowledge. The Caesar's wife must be above board. Your image both inside and outside the court must be pristine and crystal clear. For this, your dress is the first indication of your virtues, of your personality. If a person is shabby, if he is unkept, he reflects a poor self-image, he reflects disorganized thoughts, and habits. Beauty soothes the troubled souls; remember your first impression is the last impression. Therefore, pay attention to your appearance.

Of course, your knowledge of Law must be up to date. Your knowledge would be tested everyday in every case. Legal issues are first framed and posed in the trial court. Thus, it is you who would have to tackle the legal issues first. The trial court lawyer is street smart and knowledgeable. Even in the far-flung areas of this state, you will discover lawyers who know their laws, and case laws. While you should always be willing to learn from their experience and knowledge, you should sharpen your own knowledge and intellectual capacity. For this, follow the latest amendment, the creation of new laws, and read the latest case law. Be aware of the latest trends emerging in judicial thinking. The Apex Court and the High Court go through different phases. Follow their fluctuations. But it is not sufficient to know the judgment, think about the logic of the judgment, about its facts, its reasoning. See if the judgment covers the case before you or is it distinguishable on the basis of its reasoning, its logic. In order to achieve the legal expertise, burn the mid-night lamp. You will the winner.

Besides reading, cultivate the art of writing. Judgment writing is a creative process. The language should be plain, precise and pointed. Long sentences lose their punch. Words should be chosen with certain precision. The facts should be stated precisely. The issues written clearly. The evidence should be discussed thread bare. The reasoning should be logical and should follow from one point to another. A rambling judgment is a bundle of confusion. Initially, learn from the judgments of your superior officers, from the judgments of the High Court and the Apex Court. Dissect the judgments, examine its strength and weaknesses. Learn the craft of writing judgments.

Be bold in your judgments. Decide a case without fear or favour. Fear and favour come in many hues and colors. Fear of one's own past, of peer pressure, of public criticism. Favour includes not only monetary favour, but also nepotism, casteism, personal bias and prejudices. If the faith of the people is to be maintained in the Judiciary, then the river of judicial process has to be kept clean. Hence, you must avoid fear or favour at every cost. If people think your judgment is biased, is colored, is partial, they would doubt the judicial process and the river of justice will stand contaminated. It is our pious duty to keep the river clean. Impartiality is the hallmark of a Judge. Be impartial in your judgment.

Thus, to provide skill, attitude and professionalism to Judges presiding the Fast Track Court, a short term training programme has been arranged. In the present times, judicial education has become principal tool to provide accountability to the judiciary. In the words of Paul M.Lee-
"Judicial education is one of the most effective and perhaps an indispensable means for enhancing the fair administration of justice."

"Judicial Education" and "training" are not synonymous, though they aim at the objective of judicial competence and efficiency. "Education" is more concerned with the knowledge and sensitivity, whereas "training" revolves around skills, attitude and professionalism. The two reinforce each other in judicial performance. The Law Commission in its 54th Report recommended a National Judicial Academy for uniform judicial training on all India basis at-least at the initial level. A National Judicial Academy under the chairmanship of Chief Justice of India has since started functioning in Bhopal, though regular training programme has not yet begun. I am informed that few courses on Criminal Justice for trial Judges are sometimes ogranized by the Indian Institute of Public Administration, New Delhi and the Institute of Criminology and Forensic Science, New Delhi. Outside this occasional programme, there is no organized training for the judicial officers at the national level at present. There are few State level judicial Academies or Training Directorates established in the recent past under the respective High Courts at Lucknow, Hyderabad, Nagpur, Cochin and perhaps in few more States.
CALL 09990840999, 09811299811.

As you step out of the portals of this Academy, our wishes and prayers, our blessings and advises are with you. You are the base of judicial pyramid. Be strong and brave to uphold the Judiciary. God Bless you all.

I am grateful to the organizers of this function for giving me this opportunity to share my thoughts with you.

Copyright: Rajasthan Judicial Academy, Jodhpur

Challenges of Population Explosion

by- Dr. P.J. Sudhakar*

India is predicted to have overtaken China as the world's most populous nation by 2050. In an already overcrowded world, richer countries are being asked to share responsibility for the problem of this population explosion, which to a large extent is due to poverty.  The growth rate of population is a function of migration, birth rate and death rate in a country. The difference between the birth rate and the death rate measures the growth rate of population. According to estimates, Indian population has risen 1,270,272,105 (1.27 billion) out of which female constitute 614,397,079 (614.4 million), male 655,875,026 (655.8 million) and tribal 104,281,034. The high population growth rates are due to high birth rate and fast declining death rates due to better sanitation and health facilities. However, the capacities to absorb increasing manpower are much weaker. Furthermore, the process of economic development tends to be more capital intensive under modern technological conditions, and hence, has less potential of employment generation in the short run. Since the total size of the population is already large, there is urgency for speedy achievement of demographic transition from high birth rate to low birth rate resulting in lower population growth. The effects of the rapid population growth in India like providing employment to growing population, problem of utilisation of manpower, over-strained infrastructure, pressure on land and other renewable natural resources, increased cost of production and Inequitable distribution of income are hindering with development of the country.World Population Day is being observed on 11th July across the World every year.

Sex ratio is an important parameter that reflects the status of women in society. Some of the worst gender ratios, indicating gross violation of women’s rights are found in south and East Asian countries such as India and China. In India sex-ratio is declining reaching upto 928:1000. But more important and serious thing is that with social, educational, economic development, it is declining. In 2011 Census it is seen that in all states except Bihar, Gujarat and Jammu Kashmir the sex ratio is increased, it is also increased in UTs except Dadra & Haveli and Daman & Diu. Female Mortality Rate is observed to be very low in most of parts of Northern India. But comparatively sex ratio is high in Southern States of India. Reasons for neglect of girl child and low levels of sex ratio are son preference, low status of women, social and financial security associated with sons, socio-cultural practices including dowry and violence against women. Small family norm may be a catalyst in the declining child sex ratio.

The United Nations Conference on the Human Environment held in Stockholm in 1972 (United Nations, 1973) stated that the growth of population in certain areas, through both net migration and national increase, had accelerated the rates that could frustrate all the efforts to conquer poverty and underdevelopment and to maintain a safe and stable environment. The unprecedented consensus at the ICPD in 1994 squarely underscored the complex interrelationships between population, sustained economic growth, poverty and the environment. The programme of action stressed the need for integrating population and environment issues in planning and decision-making and for modifying unsustainable consumption and production patterns in order to foster sustainable resource use and prevent environmental degradation. It is also called for the implementation of policies to address the ecological implications of population dynamics. Rapid population growth and poverty in country is adversely affecting the environment. As the 21st century begins, growing number of people and rising levels of consumption per capita are depleting natural resources and degrading the environment. In India, the rapid increase of population combines with desperate poverty to deplete and pollute local resource bases on which the livelihood of present and future generations depends. Though the relationship is complex, population size and growth tend to expand and accelerate these human impacts on the environment. What is more concern, the number of population rise will increase to such an extent in future that it will cause overall scarcity for resources. India is having 18 percent of the world's population on 2.4 percent of its land area has great deal of pressure on its all natural resources.
The National Population Policy was announced on February 15, 2000 with objectives  aimed at meeting the needs for contraception, health care infrastructure, health personnel and integrated service delivery. The mid-term objectives are outlined as aimed at bringing the total fertility to replacement levels  two children per couple  by a vigorous implementation of intersectoral strategies. The long-term objective is stabilisation of population for 2045. The policy has outlined 16 promotional and motivational measures to implement it vigorously. Among these, the more important are reward Panchayats and Zila Parishads for promoting small family norm, strict enforcement of Child Marriage Restraint Act and Pre-natal Diagnostics Techniques Act, Health insurance covers of Rs. 5,000 for couples below poverty line, with two living children, who undergo sterilisation and rewards for couples below poverty line, who marry after legal age, have first child after the mother reaches 21, accept small family norm and undergo sterilisation after birth of two children.
National Commission on Population was constituted in May 2000. It is Chaired by the Prime Minister with the Deputy Chairman Planning Commission as Vice Chairman. Chief Ministers of all states, Ministers of the related Central Ministries, secretaries of the concerned Departments, eminent physicians, demographers and the representatives of the civil society are Members of the Commission. The Commission has the mandate to review, monitor and give direction for implementation of the National Population Policy with the view to achieve the goals set in the Population Policy, promote synergy between health, educational environmental and developmental programmes so as to hasten population stabilization, promote inter sectoral coordination in planning and implementation of the programmes through different sectors and agencies in center and the statesand develop a vigorous peoples programme to support this national effort. The National Population Stabilisation Fund was constituted under the National Commission on Population in July 2000. Subsequently it was transferred to the Department of Health and Family Welfare in April 2002.

The National Food Security Act, 2013 (also Right to Food Act) is an Act of the Parliament of India which aims to provide subsidized food grains to approximately two thirds of India's 1.2 billion people. Under the provisions of the bill, beneficiaries are to be able to purchase 5 kilograms per eligible person per month of cereals rice at INR3 (5.0¢ US) per kg, wheat at INR2 (3.4¢ US) per kg and coarse grains (millet) at INR1 (1.7¢ US) per kg. Prices. Pregnant women, lactating mothers, and certain categories of children are eligible for daily free meals. Every State will have to chalk out its own strategies for sustainable livelihood to move on the path of sustainable food production and sustainable livelihood security. This calls for sound policies and investments in natural resources such as land and water, flora and fauna, forests and biodiversity -- the ecological foundations essential for sustainable food security - plus sustainable intensification of crop and animal production. Population pressures and the forces of atmosphere and climate change must also be taken into account.Food security has three components. The first is food availability, which depends on food production and imports. The second is food access, which depends on purchasing power. The third, food absorption, is a function of safe drinking water, environmental hygiene, primary health care and education.
Several measures are taken up to deal delayed monsoon. Some of them are a sound seed production and storage plan, seeds of alternate crops and varieties that can be sown in case of delayed monsoon, Ensure availability of breeder seed of contingency crops/varieties which are not normally in the seed chain, Village level seed banks (crop and fodder), Adoption of drought and flood tolerant crop varieties in vulnerable, Availability of inputs related to nutrient management, Large scale demonstrations of climate resilient agronomic practices to create awareness and promote widespread adoption by farmers at block level, planting of millets, cotton, pulses and oilseed crops in ridge-furrow or raised bed systems to ensure adequate drainage in case of excess rains, Promotion of farm implements on custom hiring basis or purchase.

As per industry reports, healthcare is poised to grow at an estimated annual rate of 19 per cent to reach USD 280 billion by 2020 with India being recognized as a destination for world class healthcare. During the last decade the private sector grew to become the major provider of healthcare services. Its share of beds increased from 49 per cent in 2002 to 63 per cent in 2010. The Indian government has also introduced several reforms. The 11th and 12th Five Year Plans and international focus on the Millennium Development Goals have led to successes, especially in the primary health area – maternal and child health, and infectious diseases. The National Rural Health Mission has achieved efficiency and health system reforms, while the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) - a national social health insurance scheme - has aimed to cover in-patient treatment, possibly making quality healthcare and private sector facilities accessible to the poor. The All India Institutes of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) are a group of autonomous public medical colleges of higher education. Apart from AIIMS New Delhi, established in 1956, there are six AIIMS institute at Bhopal, Bhubaneshar, Jodhpur, Patna, Rishikesh and Raipur.
National Health Policy was formulated by Central Government in 2002. The social obligation for the government to ensure the highest possible health status of its population and as part of this, ensure that all people have access to quality health care has been recognized by a number of key policy documents. The policy directions of the Health for All declaration became stated policy of Government of India with the adoption of the National Health Policy Statement of 1983. Driven by this declaration there was some expansion of primary health care in the eighties. Further, the National Health Policy of 2002 and the Report of the Macro- Economic Commission on Health and Development (2005) were to emphasize a) the need to increase the total public health expenditure from 2 to 3% of the GDP, b) the need to strengthen the role of public sector in social protection against the rising costs of health care and the need to provide a comprehensive package of services without reducing the prioritization given to women and children’s health. The National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) was launched on 12th April 2005 to provide accessible, affordable and quality health care to the rural population, especially the vulnerable groups. The National Urban Health Mission (NUHM) as a sub-mission of National Health Mission (NHM) will meet health needs of the urban population with the focus on urban poor, by making available to them essential primary health care services and reducing out of pocket expenses for treatment.
As estimated by the World Bank, India is one of the few countries of the world where the working age population will be far in excess of those who will no longer be able to work. Unemployment records in India are kept by the Ministry of Labour and Employment of India. From 1983 till 2011, Unemployment rates in India averaged 7.6 percent reaching an all time high of 9.4 percent in December 2010 and a record low of 3.8 Percent in December 2011. In India, the unemployment rate measures the number of people actively looking for a job as a percentage of the labour force. The number of unemployed persons in India decreased to 39963 thousand in 2009 from 39974 thousand in 2007. Unemployed persons in India and kenya averaged 36933 thousand from 1985 until 2009, reaching an all time high of 41750 thousand in 2001 and a record low of 24861 thousand in 1985. In India, unemployed persons are individuals who are without a job and actively seeking to work. India has a Gini coefficient of 36.8. According to NSS(66th round) Report from Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, Government of India published on 2013 Kerala has the highest unemployment rates and ranks worst, while Rajasthan and Gujarat has the least unemployment rate among major States of India. National average for unemployment rate stands at 50.

Beyond doubt, our youth power is one of the most important assets for economic development! India’s demographic dividend is a one-time window of opportunity that cannot afford to be missed; failing is not an option, for that would be a national disaster. Almost 40% of India’s workforce had received no formal training.  Thus, a large section of India’s population is virtually unemployable, or can function as unskilled workers. The other side of this situation is that the Indian industry is facing a shortage of skilled labour despite the bulge in workforce. This shortage is affecting the economy across both manufacturing and services sectors. For example it has been estimated that the Construction sector, on which almost 6% of the country’s workforce depends for livelihood, is facing a 30% percent labour shortage. Rough back of the hand calculations indicate that addressing the skill gap shortage in Construction alone could add USD 20 billion to the Indian economy. In order to tackle the situation steps like skilling of the new entrants to the workforce,   upskilling of workers for higher or new skills and recognizing informal ‘on the job’ training of existing workers are need of the hour. The last is especially important given over 92% of India’s labour market is unorganized.

The Government recognises that high growth of incomes is by itself not enough to improve the quality of life of the poor. Unless all the citizens of the country, and most particularly the poor, have certain basic minimum services, their living conditions cannot improve. These minimum services include among other things literacy education, primary health care, safe drinking water and nutritional security. The Government had convened a meeting of Chief Ministers to identify such basic minimum services and a list of seven services had unanimously been agreed upon. These seven services are safe drinking water, primary health facilities, universal primary education, nutrition to school and pre- school children, shelter for the poor, road connectivity for all villages and habitations, and the Public Distribution System (PDS) with a focus on the poor. The Ninth Plan lays special emphasis on these seven basic minimum services and will make all efforts to achieve a minimum level of satisfaction in providing these in partnership with the State Governments and the Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs). The Integrated Rural Development Programme (IRDP) aims at providing self-employment to the rural poor through acquisition of productive assets or appropriate skills which would generate additional income on a sustained basis to enable them to cross the poverty line. Other programmes like National Old Age Pension Scheme (NOAPS), National family Benefit Scheme (NFBS), National Maternity Benefit Scheme, Annapurna, Integrated Rural Development programme, Rural Housing-Indira Awaas Yojana (IAY)(initiated in 1985),  Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) were also initiated to control poverty in India.
The introduction of high-yielding varieties of seeds and the increased use of chemical fertilizers and irrigation are known collectively as the Green Revolution, which provided the increase in production needed to make India self-sufficient in food grains, thus improving agriculture in India.

One in three Indians lives below the poverty line according to the Tendulkar Committee report which used a measurement of goods and services, rather than calorie intake, to calculate poverty. A new method to draw the ‘poverty   line’ has resulted in an increase in the number of people living below   the poverty line in India, from 27.5% of the population to 37.2%, that   is, an increase of 10% for 2004-05.  A committee headed by economist   Suresh Tendulkar has drawn up a new formula for assessing poverty, which   it has submitted to the Planning Commission. The Dandekar-Rath poverty  line formula that has been used since 1971 measures only the calorie   content of an Indian’s diet. If it is lower than 2250 calories per   person per day, the person is declared to be under the poverty line.  This norm was not revised in 35 years. The Tendulkar Committee replaces   the calorie measurement by a cost-of-living index, that is, how much   money a person spends. It looks at a basket of household goods and services   such as health and education. The new poverty line is different   for different states and also different for rural and urban areas within   a state. The all-India average rural  poverty line is set at a monthly expenditure of Rs 446.68 a month; the   national urban poverty line at Rs 578.8 a month. Goa’s rural poverty   line is the highest, pegged at Rs 608.76 a month; Delhi’s is Rs 541. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, in collaboration with the United Nations Population Fund(UNFPA), have developed ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ about the PNDT Act which will be useful to the people. This helps for stabilization of population. National Helpline service on reproductive health, mother health, child health, sexual health, adolescents health, infertility, contraception, and family planning etc. aims to reach out to adolescent, about to be married and newly married couples and who do not have easy access to reliable information on the above issues.

*World Population Day is being observed on 11th July across the World every year.
[*Dr. P.J. Sudhakar is Addl. Director General, PIB Bhopal


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