Judiciary's respect will be eroded by misconduct of incumbents, says Gopalkrishna Gandhi

While the country's judiciary, as a collective entity and as an institution, has retained the respect of the people of India “rather more than other limbs of the Republic,” it would do well to remember that the respect is retractable, former West Bengal governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi said on Thursday.

He said the respect enjoyed by the judiciary would suffer if the incumbents did not treat it with respect.

Just as the obstructing of the business of the House by legislators shakes the public confidence in them, the boycott of courts by lawyers and “rare individual trespass by a sitting judge” would hurt the reputation of the judiciary, he said.

Delivering an inaugural lecture in a series organised by the alumni of Madras Law College – 1980-1983 batch, JURIS/LEGAL EXL '83, under the auspices of the Madras Bar Association, Mr. Gandhi said that the respect for the judiciary, whose incumbents were not subjected to periodic reaffirmation of public trust, would be eroded by the palpable misconduct of individuals.

There were bound to be doubts as no institution could be flawless or infallible, but the judiciary was too important an institution “to be held in any ambiguity as regards respect,” he said.

It needed buttressing in the unceasing vigilance of its monitors and would be best done “if the concern within our Courts shifts from questions pertaining to the prestige it enjoins to questions pertaining to the respect it enjoys,” he added.


Justice V. Dhanapalan, sitting judge and member of the 1983 batch, said JURIS/LEGAL EXL '83 had been formed to publish lectures on law.

Scholarships would also be awarded to deserving students.

Chief Justice of the Madras High Court, M.Y. Eqbal presided over the meeting.

Justice Prabha Sridevan, who would be demitting office on Friday, Justice R. Subbiah, K. Alagiriswamy, president, Madras Bar Association, and Hema Sampath, senior advocate, and other judges and advocates of the Madras High Court were present.

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