Number of fraud cases in SC tends to increase as elections draw closer: CJI

"As elections draw closer, the court becomes a site for political engagement", says CJI DY Chandrachud

Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud (Photo: Getty Images)
Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud (Photo: Getty Images)


The number of "fraud cases" in the Supreme Court tends to increase as elections draw closer and the court becomes a site for political engagement, Chief Justice of India D Y Chandrachud said on Thursday.

Speaking at the Constitution Day function organised by the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) in the apex court, Justice Chandrachud said we all exist together and the Indian Constitution tells us that "we either survive or we perish together".

"But above all, I think it is important that on a day where we celebrate the Constitution, we learn to discharge our duties to the cause of justice. Our duty to the cause of justice ranks much higher than the success or failure in individual cases," he said.

"Just yesterday, I had to deal with a fraud case. The Supreme Court deals with fraud cases every day. Some courts have more than their share of fraud cases and there are sometimes as elections come, the number of fraud cases tends to increase in the court and we as judges realise it," the CJI said.

Constitution Day is celebrated across the country on November 26 every year.

Chandrachud said after elections get over, things settle down and "as the polls come closer and closer, the court becomes a site for political engagement. That is a truth of our society. I am not looking at it with any value judgement".

Justice Chandrachud, who also addressed the gathering in Hindi for a few minutes, said freedom and the Constitution have an unbreakable relationship.

Speaking about the legal profession, the CJI said it is a profession of diversity, including diversity in terms of gender.

He said be it the judges or lawyers, all have come from different parts of the country in search of a better livelihood.

"But in the process of giving each one of us a better livelihood, we are also engaged in providing a better existence to our fellow citizens. That is the big power which all of you command as lawyers," he said.

Referring to the attire of judges and lawyers, the CJI said it reminds us that the "similarity of our attire is a symbol of the common existence which we share". It was for the members of the Bar to make the legal profession broad-based and inclusive, Justice Chandrachud said while highlighting the need to encourage young lawyers.

"And remember, ultimately, it is if you support the institution of justice, which is to ensure that you support the independence of your own judiciary, that the judiciary can truly be able to discharge its duties," he said.

"If you are not giving to the judiciary its own sense of due, how will you expect them to discharge their own obligations towards society. Because your judges come from you and they return to you. They are not distinct from you," he said.

He said members of the Bar are also here for the betterment of the profession, to serve the cause of justice and to ensure that the other side of the profession, the judges, who are duty bound to act in aid of justice, continue to do so.

"You have to not merely protect your judges, but you have to hold them to account as well," he said.

Sharing a story, Chandrachud said sometime back, one of his colleagues had an attack of dengue and there was a need for blood transfusion. "But we drew on the credit of the blood which was given by our employees during the last blood donation camp… my colleague came back to normalcy very quickly by the blood transfusion," he said, adding this was again a reminder that all of us are bound together in this cycle of existence.

"None of us in that sense is different from the other. None of us stands alone," Justice Chandrachud said.

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