Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
Lawyers in Orissa are divided on the issue of High Court Judges staying in their home States.
In expressing resentment over contemplated transfer of a Judge, the Orissa High Court Bar had recently stopped work for a remarkable period.
Members of the Bhubaneswar Bar refused to support their Cuttack friends on this issue. On the other hand, Western Orissa Lawyers, specifically of the Sambalpur Bar have raised the specific demands that lawyers elevated from Bar to Bench should not be posted in the same High Court.
The demand of the Sambalpur Bar is quite pertinent. This demand does not connote to any doubt on honesty of any particular Judge. But friendship, relationship, love, affection and all such factors of personal attachment are viruses that are seldom extinguishable.
A perception is getting stronger everyday that judiciary is down in corruption. Therefore demands are getting stronger that the Judges should disclose their properties. It is difficult to believe that every Judge enhances his/her property behind every judgment delivered in supersedence of public expectations. But it is not impossible to apprehend that personal attachment to a previous intimate friend in the Bar or to the litigant concerned, might be affecting a judgment, judges being human beings.
The mischief of personal relationship, bound to stay undiminished in the environment of home state, cannot be eliminated by any law. Hence, in interest of justice, there should be framed a Law with the stipulation that High Court Judges must not be posted in their home States.
And, the sooner it is done, the better.