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Public right to criticise if a judge gone wrong but criticism of courts and judgements within bounds

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Justice Uday Umesh Lalit, who will succeed NV Ramana as the Chief Justice of India, on Monday said the public has the right to criticise if they feel that a judge has gone wrong in taking a viewpoint but the criticism of the courts and judgements must be within bounds. He added that they judges are ultimately public servants and whatever they decide is for the public good.

“We are ultimately public servants. Whatever we decide is for the public good. The public has the right to see whether our judgments are up to the expectations of society or not,” Justice UU Lalit said. “At the same time, there must be a line that must be drawn. If people feel that a judge has gone wrong in taking a viewpoint, they must be criticised. Any criticism is a pointer that even the judiciary can do some course corrections. It is a healthy sign in any democracy, but that criticism should be within bounds," he added.

The CJI-designate also stressed that a government is answerable if any Supreme Court judgement is not implemented. "No wonder courts are flooded with contempt pleas, but ultimately it is up to the executive to see that principles laid down by the top court get followed to the teeth," he said.

Justice UU Lalit will take oath as the next CJI on August 27 and his tenure will end by November 8, 2022. During his tenure, he asserted that his priority would be to dispose of 71,200 cases which are still pending in the apex court.


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