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Recusal Of Judges

Recusal Of Judges:

Two Supreme Court (SC) judges have recused themselves from hearing cases relating to West Bengal.

  • Recusal is the act of abstaining from participation in an official action such as a legal proceeding due to a conflict of interest of the presiding court official or administrative officer.

Reason for Recusal:

  • When there is a conflict of interest, a judge can withdraw from hearing a case to prevent creating a perception that he carried a bias while deciding the case.
  • The conflict of interest can be in many ways such as:
    • Having a prior or personal association with a party involved in the case.
    • Appeared for one of the parties involved in a case.
    • Ex parte communications with lawyers or non-lawyers.
    • An appeal is filed in the SC against a judgement of a High Court (HC) that may have been delivered by the SC judge when he was in the HC.
    • In a matter of a company in which he holds shares unless he has disclosed his interest and there is no objection to it.
    • The practice stems from the cardinal principle of due process of law that nobody can be a judge in her own case.
    • Any interest or conflict of interest would be a ground to withdraw from a case since a judge has a duty to act fair.