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'Courts should not be called temples of justice, judges are servers of people': CJI Chandrachud

'We could be masters of Constitutional interpretation, but a just society is established with the court’s vision of Constitutional Morality,' said the CJI.
Last Updated : 29 June 2024, 16:42 IST

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Kolkata: In what seemed like a reply to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's statement likening judiciary to places of worship, Chief Justice of India, D Y Chandrachud on Saturday said that the courts should not be called temples of justice as the judges were servers of people, not deities.

“Please see to it that (there is) no political bias in the judiciary. The judiciary must be absolutely pure, honest, and sacred. Let people worship it,” Banerjee said at the inauguration of the East Zone II regional conference of the National Judicial Academy in Kolkata, with the CJI and the Calcutta High Court’s Chief Justice T S Sivagnanam on the podium.

Banerjee and her party, Trinamool Congress, often made comments accusing the Bharatiya Janata Party of controlling the judiciary, particularly after several court verdicts on the alleged recruitment scams.

“The judiciary is an important temple for people and the supreme authority for delivering justice. “It is like a mandir, masjid, gurudwara and girja. The judiciary is of the people, by the people and for the people... and the last frontier for getting justice and upholding constitutional rights," she said.

The CJI, who spoke after the chief minister, however, said that he did not agree with people who called courts a temple of justice.

“I am reticent when people call courts a temple of justice. Because that would mean the judges are deities which they are not. They are instead servers of the people, who deliver justice with compassion and empathy,” Chandrachud said, adding that the judges were “servants and not masters of the Constitution”.

“We could be masters of Constitutional interpretation, but a just society is established with the court’s vision of Constitutional Morality,” said the CJI.

He underlined the country’s federal structure “marked by a great deal of diversity”.

The CJI also stressed the role of judges in “preserving the diversity of India”.

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Published 29 June 2024, 16:42 IST

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