Decided on March 18,2016

Joint Secretary, Political Department Shillong Appellant
High Court Of Meghalaya Respondents


- (1.) New York Times, in the Editorial, "The Frankfurter Legacy," on September 2, 1962, while stating about the greatness of Felix Frankfurter, chose the following expression:- "History will find greatness in Felix Frankfurter as a justice, not because of the results he reached but because of his attitude toward the process of decision. His guilding lights were detachment, rigorous integrity in dealing with the facts of a case, refusal to resort to unworthy means, no matter how noble the end, and dedication to the Court as an institution. Because he was human, Justice Frankfurter did not always live up to his own ideal. But he taught us the lesson that there is importance in the process."
(2.) Almost two decades and two years back, the Court in Tata Cellular v. Union of India, 1994 6 SCC 651 referred, with approval, the following passage from Neely, C.J. 1 :- "82. 'I have very few illusions about my own limitations as a Judge and from those limitations I generalise to the inherent limitations of all appellate courts reviewing rate cases. It must be remembered that this Court sees approximately 1262 cases a year with five Judges. I am not an accountant, electrical engineer, financier, banker, stock broker, or systems management analyst. It is the height of folly to expect Judges intelligently to review a 5000 page record addressing the intricacies of public utility operation.' "
(3.) Regard being had to the directions issued by the High Court, this Court in Census Commissioner and others v. R. Krishnamurthy, 2015 2 SCC 796 commenced the judgment in the following manner:- "The present appeal depicts and, in a way, sculpts the non-acceptance of conceptual limitation in every human sphere including that of adjudication. No adjudicator or a Judge can conceive the idea that the sky is the limit or for that matter there is no barrier or fetters in one's individual perception, for judicial vision should not be allowed to be imprisoned and have the potentiality to cover celestial zones. Be it ingeminated, refrain and restrain are the essential virtues in the arena of adjudication because they guard as sentinel so that virtuousness is constantly sustained. Not for nothing, centuries back Francis Bacon 2 had to say thus: "Judges ought to be more learned than witty, more reverend than plausible, and more advised than confident. Above all things, integrity is their portion and proper virtue. Let the Judges also remember that Solomon's throne was supported by lions on both sides: let them be lions, but yet lions under the throne.";

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