New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday said that judicial power cannot be used on the basis of "individual perception" of judges who have to function within the two "golden virtues" of discipline and restriction.
The court's observation came as it set aside an order passed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court which had held as illegal Gujarat government's decision declining benefit of premature release to a man sentenced to life term under the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA).
The high court had also directed Gujarat government to release on parole for three months convict Lal Singh, who was transferred from central prison of Ahmedabad to Jalandhar central jail on the ground that his family was in Punjab and their financial condition was precarious. However, the Gujarat government had challenged the August 2012 order of the high court.
Allowing the appeal of Gujarat government, a bench of justices Dipak Misra and Shiva Kirti Singh said an "abrupt direction" was issued by the high court to release Singh on parole for three months.
"The impugned order, as we notice, is gloriously silent and, in fact, an abrupt direction has been issued to release the first respondent on parole for a period of three months. It is well settled in law that a Judge is expected to act in consonance and accord with the legal principles," it said.
"He cannot assume the power on the basis of his individual perception or notion. He may consider himself as a candle of hope, but application of the said principle in all circumstances is not correct because it may have the potentiality to affect the society," the bench said.
"While using the power he (judge) has to bear in mind that 'discipline' and 'restriction' are the two basic golden virtues within which a judge functions. He may be one who would like to sing the song of liberty and glorify the same abandoning passivity, but his solemn pledge has to remain embedded to Constitution and the laws," the apex court said.
The bench granted liberty to Singh to submit a representation before the competent authority of the Centre within eight weeks on the issue. It said the competent authority would consider the representation expeditiously in accordance with law and the guidelines framed for premature release of convicts.
Singh, along with others, was convicted by an Ahmedabad court for offences punishable under the provision of TADA and the IPC....