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Report No. 77

2.3. Personality of the trial judge.-

There has, of late, been manifold increase in the number of civil and criminal cases and this increase has subjected the trial judges to extreme strains. The problems faced by the trial courts call for great qualities of head and heart. Another misconception which also needs to be removed is that as ours is a Government of laws and not of men, the personality of the trial judge makes no difference. Most of us who are familiar with the functioning of the courts would bear out that the above notion is divorced from realities.

A trial judge's ability, efficiency and tact or the lack of them can make all the difference regarding the fate of cases handled by him. It has to be borne in mind that the work in a court of law is not purely mechanical. The cases do not always proceed on set lines. There is no limit to the variety of new situations which can arise in human relationship in the complex society of today. No courts and no judge-made precedents can provide guidance nor can any fixed formula furnish solution in those situations.

It is in such like situations for which there are no guidelines or precedents that the personal qualities and worth of judge make themselves manifest. it is when the colours do not match, observed Justice Cardozo, when the references in the index fail, when there is no decisive precedent, that the serious business of the judge begins.

Errors committed by the trial judge who is not of the right calibre can sometimes be so crucial that they change the entire course of the trial and thus result in irreparable miscarriage of justice. Apart from that, a rectification of the error by the appellate court which must necessarily be after lapse of a long time, can hardly compensate for the mischief which resulted from the error committed by the trial judge.

Delay and Arrears in Trial Courts Back

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