20 January, 2021

Common Man’s Judge

In an era of judicial activism, Chief Justice ‘designate’ J.S. Verma treads the perfect middle path

Common Man’s Judge

DURING informal working lunches on Wednesdays, when Supreme Court justices let their hair down and discuss policy matters, 63-year-old Jagdish Sharan Verma, is heard stressing on the accountability of public servants. A stance that is reflected in his orders and judgements, as also in his merciless tirade against Government functionaries in open court.

And things won’t look any better for the executive and political establishment when Justice Verma takes over from Chief Justice A.M. Ahmadi on March 27 next year. While their style of functioning may be different—unlike Ahmadi, Verma is loud in court—they have a similar approach, members of the Bar feel. This is not to say that the tough, outspoken judge is a votary of ‘judicial activism’. He is, as Supreme Court lawyer Harish Salve puts it, remarkably free of all ‘-isms’. If the Supreme Court of the ’80s was pro-labour, pro-tenant and somewhat left of centre, in the ’90s it is ‘Centrist’. Justice Verma treads the perfect middle path....



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