Why Allegations Of Bias Against Justice Nazeer Are Misconceived

Why Allegations Of Bias Against Justice Nazeer Are Misconceived

by Rudra - Monday, February 13, 2023 06:18 PM IST
Why Allegations Of Bias Against Justice Nazeer Are MisconceivedJustice Nazeer (retired) appointed as Governor of Andhra Pradesh (Image: Twitter)
Snapshot
  • A rough calculation reveals that more than 25 per cent of the judgements decreed by any SC Judge during his tenure are bound to be in favour of the Central government. 

Justice Abdul Nazeer (retired), has been recently appointed as the Governor of Andhra Pradesh. The Indian National Congress (INC) party leaders alleged that Justice Nazeer decreed judgements favourable to the ruling party, like in the Ram Mandir dispute and the demonetisation matter, and that led to his appointment as the Governor of Andhra.

Arguments challenging the integrity of Justice Nazeer are illogical. Here's why.

First, according to a rough estimate, the central government is party in around 50 per cent of the matters taken up in the Supreme Court. 

Even if we assume that winning probability of each party is 50-50, yet more than 25 per cent of the judgements decreed by any SC Judge during his tenure are bound to be in favour of the Central government. 

Therefore, if we believe the charge that a certain judge decreed a particular judgement in favour of the government and therefore he was biased, then no judge of the Supreme Court ever, would be impartial and independent. 

Second, the arguments made against Justice Nazeer would have been legally and logically tenable had the ones alleging bias took the pains to actually point out specific instances, in particular judgements, that establish Justice Nazeer went out of his way and applied incorrect legal principles to arrive at his findings. 

Merely arguing that because a particular judgement was in government’s favour, and therefore the judge was a government-sympathiser, is misleading and fallacious. 

Third and most important, cherry-picking judgements which were decreed in government’s favour would serve no useful purpose. 

While Justice Nazeer was allegedly favouring the government’s stand in the Ayodhya dispute, he was also one of the dissenting judges in the triple talaq case. 

Holding that the apex court cannot interfere in personal laws, Justice Nazeer along with CJI JS Khehar categorically observed that the union government has adopted an aggressive posture by seeking invalidation of triple talaq; which constitutes a matter of personal law and faith of the Sunni Muslims.

He dissented against the majority which categorically held that triple talaq is unconstitutional.

Tangential to the present debate, but there are hundreds of judgements given by Justice Nazeer which clearly did not serve interests of the government. 

These judgements were decreed on the basis of appropriate legal principles and logic. Therefore, selectively highlighting particular judgements to discredit a judge's impartiality, without any legally tenable argument, is misconceived.

As per reports, Justice Nazeer was one of the most sought after judges in religious matters. 

This is quite evident from the fact that he was present in the Triple Talaq bench, Ayodhya dispute and several other religiously sensitive matters. He is known for his simplicity, dedicated work ethics and humanitarian attitude, traits which are likely to help him in his tenure as a Governor. 

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