What is the meaning of ‘in the interests of justice’

Clause 13 of the Letters Patent confers a very wide discretion on the Court in the matter of removal of suits. As the discretion given is so large, it is necessary that it should be carefully and judiciously used.

Clause 13, so far as it is material to this case, is:

“The High Court shall have power to remove, and to try and to determine,………when the said High Court shall think proper to do so,…………for purposes of justice, the reasons for so doing being recorded on the proceedings of the said High Court.”

What, then, is the meaning of the expression ‘in the interests of justice’?

It must mean, I think, to promote or advance the cause of justice. Justice is a principle which regulates the distribution of things, valued by men awarding them to some, denying them to others. It is, at the same time, a principle whereby each man’s worth is appraised. Justice gives to “every one that which is his.” It is not a free gift from the Court. The subject of a civilised country is entitled as a matter of right to get it “freely without sale, fully without any denial and speedily without delay.” The Court only appraises it. In doing so the Court must act and appear to act without partiality and without prejudice or as it is often expressed, “justice should not only be done but should manifestly and undoubtedly seem to be done.”

REF: Calcutta High Court-Rupendra Deb Raikut vs Ashrumati Debi And Ors. – AIR 1951 Cal 286

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