The Importance of Being Earnest I

My Lord, What is Truth?

‘Satyameva Jayate’ is a mantra from the ancient scripture Mundaka Upanishad. Upon Independence of India, it was adopted as the National Motto of India. It is inscribed in Devanagari script at the base of the National Emblem. The meaning of full mantra is as follows: Truth alone triumphs; not falsehood. Through truth the divine path is spread out by which the sages whose desires have been completely fulfilled, reach where that supreme treasure of truth resides.

Malimath Committee on Judicial Reforms heavily relied on the fact that in discovering truth, the Judges of all Courts need to play an active role.

People would have faith in Courts when they would find that truth alone triumphs in Courts. Truth has been foundation of other Judicial Systems, such as, the United States of America, the United Kingdom and other countries… The obligation to pursue truth has been carried to extremes.

Aharon Barak, President of Israeli Supreme Court from 1995 to 2006 takes the position that: For issues in which stability is actually more important than the substance of the solution – and there are many such case – I will join the majority, without restating my dissent each time. Only when my dissenting opinion reflects an issue that is central for me – that goes to the core of my role as a Judge – will I not capitulate, and will I continue to restate my dissenting opinion: truth or stability – truth is preferable.

In the administration of justice, Judges and Lawyers play equal roles. Like Judges, Lawyers also must ensure that truth triumphs in the administration of justice. Truth is the foundation of justice. It must be the endeavour of all the Judicial Officers and Judges to ascertain truth in every matter and no stone should be left unturned in achieving this object. Courts must give greater emphasis on the veracity of pleadings and documents in order to ascertain the truth.

Hon’ble Justice Dalveer Bhandari, Maria Margarida v. Erasmo Jack, (2012) 5 SCC 370.

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