The Keynote Speaker is former CJI, Justice (Retd.) Ranjan Gogoi.
ASG Aman Lekhi is co-speaker.
CEO of CAN Foundation renders welcome address.
... 4. Institutional coherence - the judiciary should speak in one voice.
5. It has to be fiduciary - the benefit has to go to the public. The fiduciary nature of power must never be forgotten.
Lekhi says that the judiciary cannot take over for the executive while addressing concerns that the judiciary may not be intervening in certain issues.
There must be a balance, Lekhi.
it is not the existence, but the appearance of bias (that is significant). An appearance comes of (that) something that is wrong, Lekhi.
The Chief Justice is the face of that particular (judicial) system. As the face, he would be criticised. And he should be criticised - no judge is immune from criticism.
He spoke on some principles that should underlie criticism of the system. (1) Convention (2) Social ethics - what we think is acceptable (3) We should have respect for the system.
He adds that often criticism is done without context. Criticism must be contextualised, ASG Lekhi says.
Collegium system, in my opinion, itself is of dubious legality, ASG Lekhi. He adds "But you have to talk about it in context."
Says that the Court may have taken a call to speak as one.
Criticism that is abusive is only destructive, Lekhi.
Lekhi concludes by registering concern over unnecessary, extraneous criticism of the judiciary.
If the complaint is to be dismissed, the report is not to be made public.
"There is good reason, it may embarrass the judge."
It the complaint is found to be of substance, the judge is asked to step down.
Then the Judges Inquiry Act comes in.
"This is the Constitutional Scheme for the protection of judges."
"The office of the judge of a high court has been made so vulnerable that a lawyer is happy to continue as a lawyer. Don't forget the sacrifice a lawyer makes to become a judge."
"You don't drive a judge through an enquiry straightway. You (judges) won't be able to function!"
This is the danger: #RanjanGogoi
"If the judge doesn't do it, 'attack the judge' - not criticise the judgment. This is destructive of the independence of the judiciary."
"I don't think I should be saying anything more."
Ex-CJI #RanjanGogoi says that the question was not unexpected given what has preceded on the social media on this webinar.
1. Retired Activist Judges: who immediately after retirement say many things not said while in office - many things regarding freedom of speech, judicial system. ...
3. Judges who perform post-retirement engagements.
You talk about post-retirement engagements as compromising judicial independence. What about the other two categories?
- Ex-CJI #RanjanGogoi
Similarly, retiring judges getting friendly with lawyers doing commercial work - no questions asked. How does work flow to a few judges and not the others?
-Ex CJI #RanjanGogoi
It's an individual perception. So long as you are clear in your own minds, there is no problem. If a judge is true to his functions, post-retirement is okay. It depends on the individual, Gogoi
Ex CJI #RanjanGogoi on the Collegium system
Webinar ends after the vote of thanks.