"I realise that some of my criticisms may be mistaken; but to refuse to criticize judgements for fear of being mistaken is to abandon criticism altogether... If any of my criticisms are found to be correct, the cause is served; and if any are found to be incorrect the very process of finding out my mistakes must lead to the discovery of the right reasons, or better reasons than I have been able to give, and the cause is served just as well."

-Mr. HM Seervai, Preface to the 1st ed., Constitutional Law of India.

Friday, November 28, 2008

SC Judgments

Orders of the courts has to be speaking, there is a right to reason.
State of Haryana v. Surjit Singh, Criminal Appeal No. 195 of 2002. Date of Judgment 28-11-08
This case came before the SC as an appeal by the state on rejection of leave for appeal against the acquital order of the trial court. The order of the HC do not offer any reasons for the rejection for leave.
The court uses this occassion to educate the HC about how to deal with an application for leave.
1. Since reasons could offer clarity, an order of the court has to be speaking.
2. Justice requires that the court should offer reasons for its decisions which in turn will be indicative of the application of mind.
3. Reasoned order is a judicial imperative.
4. Reasons could substitute subjectivity to objectivity.
5. Since the order of rejection is appealable, not offering reasons makes the appellate procedure virtually impossible.
6. There is a right to reason and it is an indispensable part of the judicial system.
7. It is only when reasons are offered that affected party can know why the decision has gone against her.

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