Judges playing devil’s advocate, effect on lower courts
Oral remarks must be made in an oral hearing, Judge Gupta said.
“When a judge hears a case, he hasn’t made up his mind yet, he hears both parties and decides the order. During the hearing, he may ask very uncomfortable questions of both parties. So, there is nothing wrong with making oral remarks, they are oral observations”, he added.
Finding nothing wrong with judges making such observations, he said,
“I see no reason because the Supreme Court has ruled that these oral remarks as a right to freedom of expression, they can be recorded. But then every oral observation cannot be part of the order…I know this is more in the context of the Nupur Sharma case but so what? This is what the judges felt strongly and they said so. There is nothing wrong.
According to Judge Deepak, people do not understand how hearings are conducted and unfortunately they think that one remark equals the final decision. However, tomorrow, the same judge could change his remark after hearing the opposing side, he pointed out.
Of the criticism these comments evoke on social media, he said,
“I don’t have a problem with reporting, because it’s part of the right to freedom of expression. The only thing is that the judges, now knowing that everything is going to be reported, should be a little careful when doing remarks in general.
Explaining the mindset of a judge who makes such remarks during a hearing, he said:
“You see as a judge, when hearing a point of law, sometimes you have to play devil’s advocate, make certain remarks to know the real argument of the case. It’s just that we don’t understand the courtroom system and we think because the judge said that, then he has to decide like that.”