Former SC judge Markandey Katju on Monday said the apex court had made some “serious mistakes” in the Soumya case by commuting the death sentence of the accused to life, and attributed it to “judges not being able to give much time to cases due to heavy workload of pending cases”.
In a Facebook post, he said, “I genuinely believe that the Supreme Court had made some serious mistakes in its judgement by reversing the death penalty awarded by Kerala High Court”.
“Possibly these mistakes were made because the court was so overburdened with work that it cannot give as much time to cases as they deserve, which they would have otherwise done, had it not been for this heavy load of cases to decide,” he said.
The Former Press Council Chairman also said that when he first heard that he had been issued notice, asking him to appear before the court on 11 November, he was “upset” as he thought the SC was trying to “humiliate” him since he had criticised their judgement and such an order was “unprecedented”.
Hence, he had initially said that he would not appear before the court as directed.
However, when he received the apex court’s notice and read it, Katju said he realised the court used “very respectful language to me and had requested me, not ordered me, to appear since they seemed to be sincere about their desire to reconsider their judgement and did not have a closed mind.”
“Since reading the Supreme Court notice, I felt that the judges had no intention to humiliate or insult me, rather were anxious to get my help in reconsidering their judgement, I have decided to appear on 11 November at 2 PM (the date and time fixed),” Justice Katju said.
Quoting celebrated British Judge Lord Denning, Katju said ‘The Judge has not been born who has not made a mistake’.
“We are all humans, and all of us make mistakes, but a gentleman is one who realises his mistake, acknowledges it, and seeks to make amends,” Katju said.
“This should apply to judges too. I myself have sometimes made mistakes in my judgements,” he said.