Ahmedabad: Judges must not "give lectures" to society while doing their job and should not "judge the wisdom of legislature", said Chief Justice of India S H Kapadia here on Saturday.

Delivering Justice P D Desai memorial lecture here on the subject `Constitutional Morality', Justice Kapadia said "High Courts and the Supreme Court are courts of principles. The judges should not speak anything beyond the principles of a
particular case. Let us not give lectures to the society."

The CJI said, "The problem is sometimes we judges impose our own values, our own likes or dislikes on the society."

"The judges should keep in mind that we cannot judge the wisdom of legislatures. We have to work for constitutional principles. I have no right to say what others should do but I have to perform the duty on constitutional principles," he added.

"So, I am of the view that if the judges take decisions on principles, many of the controversies that are taking place now will not arise", he said.

The CJI also said courts these days faced the challenge of balancing the rights and the society's interests.

Without mentioning the recent Supreme Court ruling in CVC P J Thomas appointment case, Justice Kapadia said, "now take the case of balancing points... what is more important to the appointment of higher office? Presumption of innocence or presumption of institutional integrity and competence?"

"On issues of development versus environment, to judge a case is a most difficult exercise...Can you rule out development in the interest of environment? The answer is no. Can you lean totally in favour of development and rule out environment? The answer is no," Kapadia said.

"In such cases, objectivity is the touchstone of the judicial decision. Objectivity is the touchstone of rule of law and when the judge gives a judgement, it must indicate objectivity," Kapadia said.

"The most important thing that I would stress on the issue of constitutional morality is clarity of judgement and its objectivity," Kapadia said.

He rued that "today, in our country, senior lawyers are not contributing to the development of law".

"Today, we are all quick in going to internet and whatever information is available on the internet we download it but you will not get the nuances of the law on it,"
Kapadia advised the law students.

(Agencies)