CJI Kapadia laments lawyers’ disinterest in law
TIMES OF INDIA
AHMEDABAD: Chief Justice of India S H Kapadia on Saturday rued the fact that neither senior lawyers nor students of law take any real interest in their subject – law. “Senior lawyers are not contributing to development of law, as they used to do in the past. Even young students do not take interest in this pursuit. Earlier in the Supreme Court, such students used to come, sit in courtrooms and take notes. But now they disappear in five minutes. They are more interested in transaction matters. There is nothing wrong in it. But how many can now argue on reasonableness?,” said Justice Kapadia.
The CJI was speaking on ‘Constitutional Morality’ at the sixth Justice P D Desai Memorial Lecture organised by the Praleen Charitable Trust here. Justice Kapadia advised students from various universities present at the function not to rely totally on information downloaded from internet. “Please do not go by guides and internet. You have to put in hard work. Money will not make you happy, but it’s the learning that will,” he said adding that the future generation of lawyers should be able to argue on doctrine of reasonableness and principles.
The CJI praised India for its vastness of opportunities by citing his own example as how he began his career as a peon in a Parsi trust and how he reached the top post of judiciary. “Ability may take you to the top, but you require character to remain on the top,” he said advising young lawyers to maintain integrity in their profession. Justice Kapadia also advised judges not to lecture society. “The problem is that sometimes we judges impose our own values, our own likes or dislikes on the society. The judges should keep in mind that we cannot judge the wisdom of legislatures. We have to work for constitutional principles. I have no right to say what others should do, but I have to perform the duty on constitutional principles,” he said. The CJI also said that courts these days faced the challenge of balancing the rights and the society’s interests. Without mentioning the recent SC’s ruling in CVC P J Thomas appointment case, Justice Kapadia said “Now take the case of balancing points. What is more important to the appointment of higher office? Presumption of innocence or presumption of institutional integrity and competence?”
He discussed the issue of maintaining balance between environment and development. He also spoke about objectivity and inter-generational equity. Those who attended the function included former SC judges, Chief Justice of Gujarat high court S J Mukhopadhaya, other sitting judges and senior lawyers.