NAINITAL: The Supreme Court has expunged “offending comments” by an Uttarakhand high court judge against a lawyer from four case orders, saying that the remarks were “unnecessary”, showed that “restraint and sobriety” were missing and seemed to be based on “personal perception” of the judge.
“While it is of fundamental importance in the realm of administration of justice to allow the judges to discharge their functions freely and fearlessly and without interference by anyone, it is equally important for the judges to be exercising restraint and avoid unnecessary remarks on the conduct of the counsel which may have no bearing on the adjudication of the dispute before the court,” the Supreme Court bench of Justices Rohinton Fali Nariman and Hrishikesh Roy said on Monday.
Neeraj Garg has been practising law for 17 years. He had approached the apex court saying that the high court judge’s “adverse” remarks about his conduct on four occasions could “undermine (his) professional reputation”.
The judge had called him a “seasonal advocate”, said Garg was responsible for “brutal assassination of time” and making arguments “for the visitor’s gallery”. The judge had also accused Garg of trying to “mislead the court” with “uncalled for” and irrelevant documents.
The SC said the “offending comments… could have been avoided as they were unnecessary for deciding the disputes.” It added that the comments “appear to be based on the personal perception” of the judge. “It is also apparent that the (judge) did not give any opportunity to the (lawyer) to put forth his explanation,” the order said.