Topics Covered: Separation of powers between various organs dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions.
Recusal of Judges:
Supreme Court judge Justice B.R. Gavai, one of the two judges on the Vacation Bench scheduled to hear a plea by former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh challenging the internal enquiries instituted against him, has recused himself from hearing the case.
Mr. Singh had moved the Supreme Court alleging that the departmental enquiries against him were part of a conspiracy to frame him for levelling allegations of corruption against Anil Deshmukh, who resigned as Maharashtra Home Minister. He urged the top court to shift the enquiries to another State.
What is Judicial Disqualification or Recusal?
Judicial disqualification, referred to as recusal, is the act of abstaining from participation in an official action such as a legal proceeding due to a conflict of interest of the presiding court official or administrative officer.
Grounds for Recusal:
- The judge is biased in favour of one party, or against another, or that a reasonable objective observer would think he might be.
- Interest in the subject matter, or relationship with someone who is interested in it.
- Background or experience, such as the judge’s prior work as a lawyer.
- Personal knowledge about the parties or the facts of the case.
- Ex parte communications with lawyers or non-lawyers.
- Rulings, comments or conduct.
Are there any laws in this regard?
There are no definite rules on recusals by Judges.
- However, In taking oath of office, judges, both of the Supreme Court and of the high courts, promise to perform their duties, to deliver justice, “without fear or favour, affection or ill-will”.
What has the Supreme Court said on this?
Justice J. Chelameswar in his opinion in Supreme Court Advocates-on-Record Association v. Union of India (2015) held that “Where a judge has a pecuniary interest, no further inquiry as to whether there was a ‘real danger’ or ‘reasonable suspicion’ of bias is required to be undertaken”.
- Grounds for Judicial Disqualification.
- Who administers oath to Supreme Court and High Court judges?
- Articles 127 and 128 of the Indian Constitution are related to?
Recusal has become a selective call of morality for Supreme Court judges. Discuss.
Sources; the Hindu.