There is a danger in calling the court a temple of justice, judges may start thinking of themselves as God… Why did CJI Chandrachud give this warning

Ananya Shroff
2 Min Read

New Delhi : Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud on Saturday said the practice of comparing judges to God is dangerous as judges have a responsibility to work in the interest of the common man. “Often we are addressed as Honour or Lordship or Ladyship. There is a great danger when people call the court a temple of justice. The great danger is that we start thinking of ourselves as Gods sitting in those temples,” the CJI said while addressing the regional conference of the National Judicial Academy in Kolkata.

The CJI said that when he is told that the court is a temple of justice, he is unable to say anything because temple means that the judge is the place of God. He said, 'Rather I would like to say that the job of judges is to serve the people. And when you see yourself as a person whose job is to serve the people, you will develop a sense of empathy towards others and imparting prejudice-free justice.'

He said that even while pronouncing sentence in a criminal case, the judge does so with sensitivity because ultimately a human being is being sentenced. CJI Chandrachud said, 'That is why I believe that these concepts of constitutional morality are important – not only for the judges of the Supreme Court or High Court but also for the district level judges because the first contact of the common people with the judiciary begins with the judicial system of the district.'

He also emphasised the importance of technology in the functioning of the judiciary. According to CJI Chandrachud, language is the biggest barrier for common people to access and understand judgments. He said, 'Technology can provide solutions to some things. Most judgments are written in English. Technology has enabled us to translate them. We are translating 51,000 judgments into other languages.'

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