Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi on Sunday expressed concern over "belligerent and reckless behaviour" by some individuals and groups and hoped the country's legal institution will overcome such "wayward" constituents. The CJI, who was speaking after laying the foundation stone of an auditorium of the Gauhati High Court here, however, did not elaborate on his remarks and refrained from naming any individuals or groups.
"It is unfortunate that the present times are witnessing belligerent and reckless behaviour by a few individuals and some groups. "I am hopeful that such incidents turn out to be exceptions and the strong traditions and ethos of our institution shall always assist our stakeholders to display resilience to overcome the belligerence of such wayward constituents," Gogoi said.
He said that unlike offices or government establishments, courts are unique, with multiple stakeholders converging every day to facilitate and make the wheels of justice move forward, though they may not be bound by any single hierarchy of commands. "It is therefore important, for each stakeholder functioning in a court complex, to learn and accept that the institutional traditions and practices are the greatest gifts that we inherit in our respective journeys even as we associate with the process of justice dispensation in various capacities," Gogoi said.
The CJI said that judges and judicial officers must remember that judgments and court orders have a bearing on public faith. "Today, I feel compelled to assert that judges and judicial officers must remember that public faith and confidence, on which our institution lives and survives, is largely built on the basis of orders and judgements passed by us," Gogoi said.
The CJI also said that getting selected as a judicial functionary is an opportunity to serve the hallowed institution, whose value is always immeasurably more than what can be reasonably visualised. "The right to adjudicate the affairs of fellow human beings and citizens has an element of divinity to it and this privilege by itself must fill us with humility and a profound sense of duty towards the people, whom we serve," he said.
Gogoi emphasised that the connect, behaviour and ways of interaction of every judicial officer and staff member of a subordinate court with fellow citizens signify the way the judiciary would like to serve the aspirations of the people. "Every subordinate court is the interface that Indian judiciary has with the constituents of our republic, whom we serve," he said.
Expressing concern over pendency of cases, Gogoi said that more than two lakh cases are in courts for 25 years, while over 1,000 cases have not been disposed of even after five decades. He said the diversities of race, religion and culture in Assam present unique challenges before the high court as well as the subordinate courts serving these areas.
The judges and judicial officers must constantly learn and acknowledge the sensitivities of diverse cultural traditions that may be unique to this particular area, he said. About the auditorium of the Gauhati High Court, the CJI said that since judicial functioning involves a constant process of learning, adequate opportunities for relaxation and leisure are a must.