Judicial Dictionary

Judicial Conduct

The rule of law about judicial conduct is as strict, as it is old. No Judge can be considered to be competent to hear a case in which he is directly or indirectly interested. A proved interest in a Judge not disqualifies him but renders his judgment a nullity. There is yet another rule of judicial conduct which bears upon the hearing of case. In that, the Judge is expected to be serene and evenhanded, even though his patience may be sorely tried and the time of the Court appear to be wasted. This is based on the maxim which is often repeated that justice should not only be done but should be seen to be done. No litigant should leave the Court feeling reasonable that his case was not heard or considered on its merit.

In the course of arguments, Judges express opinions, tentatively formed, sometimes even strongly ; but that does not always mean that the case has been prejudged. An argument in Court can never be effective if the Judges do not sometimes point out what appears to be the under lying fallacy in the apparent plausibility thereof, and any lawyer or litigant, who forms an apprehension on that score, cannot be said to be reasonably doing so. It has frequently been noticed that the objection of a Judge breaks down on a closer examination, and often enough, some Judges acknowledge publicly that they were mistaken. Of course, if the Judge unreasonably obstructs the flow of an argument or does not allow it to be raised, it may be said that there has been no fair hearing.[ (1963) AIR(SC) 1 : (1963) 3 SCR 22 SUPREME COURT OF INDIA]

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