New Delhi: Senior Supreme Court Judge Justice N.V. Ramana Saturday said judges must be fearless and be able to withstand all pressures against obstacles.
In his keynote address, delivered at an online condolence meet held in the memory of former Supreme Court judge, Justice A.R. Lakshmanan, Justice Ramana also spoke of values and qualities of a judge, who should stay committed to an independent judiciary, which, he said, is a need in the current times.
Justice Ramana is next-in-line to head the top court following incumbent CJI Bobde’s retirement in April next year. His comments come at a time when Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy has levelled charges of corruption against him.
At an unprecedented press conference on 10 October, Reddy’s government had levelled charges of corruption and bias against Justice Ramana and other high court judges. He had also made public a letter written to CJI Bobde on 6 October in which he had accused Justice Ramana and former Andhra Pradesh chief minister N. Chandrababu Naidu of trying to topple his government.
Reddy came out in open with the charges after the Andhra Pradesh high court issued a gag order, prohibiting the media from reporting on the land scam case in which Justice Ramana’s kin are named as accused.
Reddy has come under severe criticism from members of the legal fraternity for launching an attack on judges.
‘Judges should stand up bravely against all obstacles’
Justice Ramana said the greatest strength of the judiciary is the faith of people in it. “Faith, confidence and acceptability cannot be commanded, they have to be earned,” he said.
He advocated the need to have innumerable qualities such as humility, patience, kindness, a strong work ethic, to live a good life. For a judge, in particular, he said, one must be steadfast in holding on to their principles and fearless in their decisions. “It is an important quality for a judge to withstand all pressures and odds and to stand up bravely against all obstacles.”.
Values, he added, are “ultimately our greatest strength and we must never forget the same.”
Justice Ramana also reflected on Justice Lakshmanan’s tenure as a judge. “We all should take inspiration from his words and should strive to commit a vibrant and independent judiciary, which is required in the current times,” he said.
Justice Ramana had last month also expressed concern over judges becoming victims of gossip. At the launch of a book written by former SC judge, Justice R. Banumathi, he said that judges are being “construed as soft targets for criticism” because of their self-restraint.