“Judges Must Act With Dignity, Not Indulge In Behaviour That Would Affect Image Of Judiciary”: Bombay HC

The Bombay High Court on Tuesday has stated that, “Judges must act with dignity and not indulge in conduct or behaviour that would affect the judiciary’s image”, while refusing to reinstate a civil judge accused of coming to court in an inebriated state.

Aniruddha Pathak had filed a petition in the high court challenging his removal from the post of civil judge junior division due to alleged improper behaviour and for coming to court in an inebriated state on many occasions.

Pathak challenged an order passed by the Maharashtra government’s Law and Judiciary department in January 2022, removing him from judicial service.

The order was passed after a report was submitted by the principal district and sessions judge of Nandurbar.


A division bench of Justices AS Chandurkar and JS Jain dismissed the petition, noting that it didn’t find the removal order perverse or passed without any application of mind.

The court stated, “It is a universally accepted norm that judges and judicial officers must act with dignity and must not indulge in a conduct or behaviour which is likely to affect the image of the judiciary or which is unbecoming of a judicial officer.”

It stated, if members of the judiciary indulge in a behaviour which is blameworthy or unbecoming of a judicial officer, then courts cannot grant any relief.


The bench stated in its order, “Judges, while discharging their functions, exercise the sovereign judicial power of the State and hence standards are expected to be maintained are of the highest nature.”

Pathak was appointed as a civil judge junior division in March 2010, and he was posted in various districts till his removal.

The allegations against Pathak were of improper behaviour on the dais while presiding court, not following court timings, and arriving in court under the influence of liquor.

He was a judge at the Shahada court in Nandurbar district at the time.

The court observed, “We find no reason to interfere with the impugned order, more so because the petitioner was occupying a post which is looked upon with high respect, and if the disciplinary committee has come to a conclusion of removal of service, then it cannot be said to be perverse.”

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About the Author: Meera Verma