Recusal of Judges!

  • A Supreme Court justice excused herself from hearing Bilkis Bano’s writ suit challenging the early release of 11 men who had been given life sentences for gang-raping her during the 2002 riots.
  • Recusal is the removal of oneself from a case as a judge or policymaker, usually due to a conflict of interest.
  • Recusal is typically required when a judge has a conflict of interest or has previously worked with one of the case’s parties.
  • For instance, the suspicion would seem legitimate if the case involved a business in which the judge has stock.
  • Similar to this, the request for recusal may seem appropriate if the judge has previously represented one of the parties engaged in a case.
  • Recusal always causes delays. The Chief Justice is given the case again and is required to appoint a new Bench.

Rules on Recusals

  • Judges are not required by any formal regulations to recuse themselves from hearing cases that have been assigned to them in constitutional courts. It is up to the judge’s judgement.
  • In a court order, the reasons for recusal are not stated. Many judges do not explain their reasons for recusing themselves orally to the attorneys involved in the case.
  • Some give the causes in chronological order. The judge’s conscience will determine the outcome.
  • Sometimes those involved express concerns over a potential conflict of interest.

Concerns with recusal

  • Abstinence from duty is another definition of recusal. Keeping institutional decorum separate from the judge’s fiercely independent duty as an adjudicator.
  • Justice Kurian Joseph emphasised the need for judges to provide reasons for their recusals as a means to increase transparency in his separate opinion in the NJAC ruling in 2015.
  • A judge must give a rationale for his recusal from a particular case because it is his constitutional obligation to be open and accountable, as expressed in his oath.

Concerns with this remission

  • Causality of a terrible crime: The remission goes against the current philosophy that considers crimes against women and children to be so vile that the perpetrators should not be given the benefit of the doubt when it comes to remission.
  • Whimsy release: The CrPC allows allow for the early release of individuals serving life sentences through remission or commutation, but such releases must follow a legal and constitutional framework rather than the whims of a ruling party.
  • Political considerations: If supplied for political reasons simply because the required minimum number of years has passed, it would not be justified. 
And get notified everytime we publish a new blog post.