CJI Expresses Displeasure Over HC Judge Seeking Explanation From Railways For ‘Bad’ Train Journey

Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud has expressed displeasure over the incident where an Allahabad High Court judge sought an explanation from the Railways for an ‘unsatisfactory’ train journey. In a letter to the chief justices of all the high courts, as per PTI, the CJI said that protocol facilities made available to judges should not be used in a manner that causes inconvenience to others or brings public criticism to the judiciary. 

“A Judge of the High Court does not possess disciplinary jurisdiction over railway personnel. Hence, there was no occasion for an officer of the High Court to call for an explanation from the railway personnel ‘to be placed before His Lordship for kind perusal,” the letter read, as per PTI. 

In the letter dated July 19, Chandrachud said, “Evidently, the officer of the High Court in the above communication was carrying out a direction of the Judge of the High Court in this instance (‘the Hon’ble Judge has desired’).” 

In a recent incident, an Allahabad High Court judge called for an explanation from railway officials for allegedly not meeting his requirements during a train journey from Delhi to Prayagraj. The letter was sent by the Registrar (Protocol) of the Allahabad High Court to the General Manager of the North Central Railway, Prayagraj, mentioned the PTI report. 

The CJI said he was writing this to all chief justices of the high courts with the aim of sharing his concerns with all their court colleagues. 

Expressing displeasure over the judge seeking an explanation for “not meeting his requirements” during a train journey, he said that the communication which an officer of the High Court addressed to the General Manager of the Railway establishment has given rise to justifiable disquiet both within and outside the judiciary. 

“Protocol ‘facilities’ which are made available to Judges should not be utilised to assert a claim to privilege which sets them apart from society or as a manifestation of power or authority,” the letter stated. 

The CJI said that a wise exercise of judicial authority, both on and off the Bench, is something that sustains the credibility and legitimacy of the judiciary and the confidence that society has in its Judges, quoted PTI. 

Advising the judges, the CJI said that self-reflection and counselling within the judiciary are necessary 

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