An ambitious judge ‘is more dangerous’ than a bribe-taking judge, stated Justice Jamshed Pardiwlaa. The Supreme Court judge made this statement in Ahmedabad on Saturday, while recalling a former colleague’s remark. He further added, “The lesson is something he has embedded within himself.”
In his new position as an SC judge, the former Gujarat High Court judge stated that he will do his best to fulfil his constitutional oath in his new role.
In May, Justice Pardiwala was elevated to the apex court and is expected to be there until 2030. He spoke at the felicitation and farewell ceremony organized by the Gujarat High Court Advocates’ Association (GHAA) in honour of newly elevated SC judges from the Gujarat High Court-Justices Vikram Nath, Bela Trivedi, and Jamshed Pardiwala.).
While explaining the importance of the foundation of justice in a vibrant democracy such as India, the justice further elaborated on two major duties of a judge. He stated that The first role is to ‘uphold the Constitution and the rule of law,’ and the second is ‘to bridge the gap between the law and the society.’
Pardiwala further added, “Your ideologies may differ, but when it comes to protecting the honour and dignity of this institution, always stand united and tall. Never allow any person to point a finger at this institution, never allow anyone to speak foul about this institution. Why I’m saying so is, in the words of a very eminent jurist, ‘the power of judiciary lies not in deciding cases, not in imposing sentences, not in punishing for contempt, but in the trust, confidence and faith of the common man.’ This trust and confidence must not be shaken.”
Moreover, when recalling his stint on the bench with former Gujarat Chief Justice (now retired) Bhaskar Bhattacharya, the SC justice recalled one occasion when the latter, asked about his age (45 at the time), spontaneously expressed concern regarding Justice Pardiwala’s remaining 17 years of service by asserting “an ambitious judge is more dangerous than a bribe-taking judge”.”
In response to the remarks, Justice Pardiwala mustered up the courage to ask Justice Bhattacharya what he was trying to say. He said, “Brother when I became a judge in 1997, I had a tenure of more than 16 years. On the morning of my oath, my father who was also a judge of the Calcutta HC but of service cadre came to wish me and said, ‘Bhaskar da, don’t start thinking from day one when you will become the chief justice of any high court or when will you go to the SC because an ambitious judge is a more dangerous judge than a bribe-taking judge. Ambition can lead a judge to do anything. Therefore, what my father has conveyed to me, I’m conveying it to you.’ These words got embedded in my mind, they are still embedded, they will die with me,” said Justice Pardiwala.