Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The importance of speaking orders/judgments

Time and again, the Supreme Court reminds the courts below of the importance of speaking orders. State of Himachal Pradesh v. Sardara Singh is the latest of such reminders, which deserves to be noticed. In this case, the High Court rejected the application for grant of leave to appeal.

Justice Arijit Pasayat said in his judgment: "The High Court has not given any reasons for refusing to grant leave to file appeal against acquittal, and seems to have been completely oblivious to the fact that by such refusal, a close scrutiny of the order of acquittal, by the appellate forum, has been lost once and for all.

"Reasons are live links between the mind of the decision taker to the controversy in question and the decision or conclusion arrived at. Reasons substitute subjectivity by objectivity. The emphasis on recording reasons is that if the decision reveals the "inscrutable face of the sphinx", it can, by its silence, render it virtually impossible for the Courts to perform their appellate function or exercise the power of judicial review in adjudging the validity of the decision. Right to reason is an indispensable part of a sound judicial system, reasons at least sufficient to indicate an application of mind to the matter before Court."
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