Bias in a Judge

There are three kinds

  • A judge may have a bias in the subject matter which means that he is himself a party or has direct connection with the litigation so as to constitute a legal interest. A “legal interest” means that the judge is “in such a position that a bias must be assumed.”
  • Pecuniary interest in the cause, however, slight will disqualify the judge even though it is not proved that the decision has in fact been affected by reason of such interest. For this reason, where person having such interest sits as one of the judges the decision is vitiated.
  • A judge may have a personal bias towards a party owing relationship and the like or he may be personally hostile to a party as result of events happening either before or during the trial. Whenever, there is any allegation of personal bias, the question which should be satisfied is, “Is there in the mind of the litigant a reasonable apprehension that he would not get a fair trial.” The test is whether there is a “real likelihood of prejudice”, but it does not require certainty. “Real likelihood” is the apprehension of a reasonable man apprised of the facts and not the suspicion of fools or “capricious persons”.

BIAS:  cannot be attributed to legislature – Bias or the perception of a bias has to be established.

All Pakistan Newspaper Society    Vs.    Federation of Pakistan
PLD 2012 S.C.1

Ref:  Asif Ali Zardari    Vs.    State.
PLD 2001 S.C. 568