The Supreme Court has said that the appellate courts should exercise utmost restraint before making adverse observation against the judges of the subordinate judiciary.
The apex court said that besides affecting their career, such ‘disparaging’ remarks lower their esteem in public view.
The vacation bench of the Supreme Court headed by Justice G.S. Singhvi and comprising Justice C.K. Prasad said this in their order Monday while setting aside the disparaging remarks passed by a division bench of Andhra Pradesh High Court against a judicial officer of a subordinate court.
The high court hauled up the judicial officer for passing an injunction order which was judicially not sustainable.
The order recalled an earlier judgment of the top court which had reminded all concerned that using ‘intemperate language and castigating strictures on the judges of the lower judiciary diminishes the image of judiciary in the eyes of the public’.
The apex court said that the division bench of the high court might be fully justified in setting aside the order of injunction which may not be legally correct or justified.
But the apex court bench said: ‘There was absolutely no justification for the division bench to make highly disparaging remarks against the judicial officer, casting doubts on his ability to decide the cases objectively.’
Assailing the high court judgment, the apex court bench said: ‘The use of the words ‘out of sheer arrogance and disrespect to the lawful order’ and the expression ‘judicial authoritarianism’ shows that the division bench ignored the words of caution administered by this (apex) court in several judgments’ and ‘castigated the appellant (aggrieved judge of subordinate judiciary) without any justification’.
The order said that the observations and remarks made by the division bench of the high court were bound to ‘adversely affect the image of the appellant (judicial officer) in the eyes of the public, his credibility as a judicial officer and also affects his career’.
The apex court order went on to say, ‘We are sure that if the division bench of the high court had kept in view the judgments of this court, it would not have made disparaging remarks against the appellant, which, in the facts and circumstances of the case, were not at all called for’.