Justice loses character when it becomes revenge: CJI amid encounter debate

Chief Justice of India Sharad Arvind Bobde | (PTI Photo/Manvender Vashist)

Chief Justice of India S A Bobde here on Saturday said the press conference held by four senior most judges of the apex court last year was just a self-corrective measure.

In an unprecedented move, Justices J Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, M B Lokur and Kurien Joseph-- had on January 12, 2018, held a press conference, saying the situation in the top court was "not in order" and many "less than desirable" things had taken place.

Ranjan Gogoi later in the year had succeeded the then chief justice of India Dipak Mishra.

"I believe the institution (judiciary) must correct itself and indeed it did during the time when the much-criticised press conference was held. It was nothing more than a self-corrective measure and I do not wish to justify it," Justice Bobde said during the inauguration of a new building of the Rajsthan High Court here.

The CJI further said, "All judges were eminent and Justice (Ranjan) Gogoi in particular showed great competence and led the judiciary from the front."

He stressed as an institution, the judiciary must remain committed to making justice accessible to people by strengthening the existing avenues and evolving newer means to achieve an affordable, quick and satisfactory settlement of disputes.

At the same time, we must be aware of the changes and perception about the judiciary, the CJI said.

He said recent events in the country had sparked off an old debate with new vigour, where there was no doubt that the criminal justice system must reconsider its position and attitude towards the time it took to dispose of a criminal matter.

"Justice is never ought to be instant. Justice must never ever take the form of revenge. I believe justice loses its character when it becomes revenge. There is a need in the judiciary to invoke self-correcting measures but whether or not they should be publicised is a matter of debate," he said.

"We have to devise methods for not only speeding up litigation but all together preventing it. There are laws which provide for pre-litigation mediation," he said, adding that there was a need to consider compulsory pre-litigation mediation.

Surprisingly, no courses were available for conferring a degree or diploma in mediation, he said.



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