Underlining the troubled relationship between the bar and the bench (judges and advocates), outgoing Chief Justice of India, Justice SA Bobde, today said there has to be mutual respect between the two for the excellent functioning of the judiciary.
In his farewell, arranged by the Supreme Court Bar Association, Justice Bobde said, “We need to pay a lot of attention to communication and relationship between bar and bench. I do not wish to criticise anybody, but the attitude and mutual respect…that is necessary for excellent functioning of judicial system.”
He had similar comments for the media too: “What we also need to look into the future is how media interprets the relation between Bar and Bench.”
The Chief Justice’s remarks come after a bench led by him was upset this morning with some senior lawyers criticising the court over its intention to take over cases related to oxygen shortage from the various High Courts.
Almost the entirety of Justice Bobde’s 16-month tenure went through virtual hearings due to the COVID-19 pandemic that has prevailed in India since January 2020.
The collegium headed by him could not recommend any names to elevate High Court judges to the Supreme Court due to a lack of consensus.
Speaking about virtual hearings, he said they created inequality because “your access to justice depends on access to technology”.
Justice Bobde was part of the bench that delivered the Ayodhya verdict. He is an avid wildlife photographer and biker. He retired today after serving 21 years as a judge, preceded by 22 years as a lawyer.