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'Indiscreet remarks by judges in courtrooms denigrate judiciary'
The President said the essential quality of a judge is detachment founded on independence, quoting from a statement made a US Supreme Court judge, Felix Frankfurter: "Independence of judiciary is jeopardised when the courts become embroiled in the passions of the day, and assume primary responsibility in choosing between competing political, economic and social pressure."

NEW DELHI, Nov 27: President Ram Nath Kovind has said that the judges must avoid indiscreet remarks in the courtrooms, even if made with good intention, by judges that give rise to various negative interpretations among the public and the media which ultimately denigrate the judiciary. He was addressing the valedictory function of the Constitution Day celebrations organised by the Supreme Court of India on Saturday.

Kovind said that in Indian tradition judges are considered as model of rectitude and detachment and it is incumbent upon them to exercise "utmost discretion" in their utterances in the courtrooms. The Indian judiciary, he said, has been adhering to those highest standards. There is no doubt that the judiciary has set for itself a high bar.

"Hence, it is also incumbent upon the judges to exercise the utmost discretion in their utterances in the courtrooms. Indiscreet remarks, even if made with good intention, give space for dubious interpretations to run down the judiciary," he said.

Illustrating his point that the essential quality of a judge is detachment founded on independence, the President quoted from a statement made a US Supreme Court judge, Felix Frankfurter: "Independence of judiciary is jeopardised when the courts become embroiled in the passions of the day, and assume primary responsibility in choosing between competing political, economic and social pressure."

"We have a rich history of legions of such judges known for their utterances full of sagacity and conduct beyond reproach, which has become hallmarks for the future generations," he said.

"Right from the beginning, the judiciary consistently conformed to those highest standards of conduct while discharging its responsibility. In people's view, it is the most trusted institution," he said.

Kovind also said, only a very small section of the citizens can afford to knock on the doors of the court of justice. From lower courts to Supreme Court, it becomes increasingly difficult for an average citizen to seek redressal of grievances.

He suggested increased access to legal aid and advisory services for all can take the form of a movement or the form of a better-institutionalised mechanism.

The President also said the issue of pendency of cases has ramifications for the economic growth and development too.

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