Supreme Court Directs Patna HC CJ To Examine Police Officer's Complaint Alleging Assault By District Judge
The Supreme Court on Monday took grave note of a police officer's complaint alleging that he was assaulted inside the chambers of an Additional District Judge (ADJ) in Patna.
A Division Bench of Justices MR Shah and CT Ravikumar directed the Chief Justice of Patna High Court to probe into the police officer's complaint as well as the ADJ's counter FIR. However, the Bench reminded that the Judiciary's sanctity and dignity are most important.
"The Hon. Chief Justice of the Patna High Court to look into the matter and allegations made in the complaint made by the petitioner independently. The Hon. Chief Justice to take into consideration the counter FIR filed by the judicial officer as well. The Chief Justice of the High Court should bear in mind that paramount consideration is the discipline and dignity of the justice delivery system."
The Bench was considering a plea moved by Krishna challenging a Patna High Court order dated August 31, which accepted the closure report, in response to his complaint against the District Judge.
During the hearing, the Bench took strong exception to the case at hand, opining that it won't be able to tolerate the conduct of the judicial officer provided the allegations are authentic.
"What is happening in the High Court? We don't know what is right or wrong. But, if it is true that a judicial officer has called a police officer to his chambers and he (the officer) was beaten. How can we tolerate this?"
"Let CJ of the Patna High Court take a call and order an investigation. We will keep it on Monday, let CJ tell us in a sealed cover", the Bench said, before passing the order.
According to the petitioner, he was called to the chamber of ADJ Avinash Kumar on November 18, 2021, owing to a complaint filed by Usha Devi, wife of one Deepak Raj.
In her complaint, Devi alleged that the petitioner, the station house officer of Ghoghardiha police station, had threatened to falsely implicate Devi, Raj, and her other family members.
When the petitioner reached the chamber of ADJ Avinash Kumar, he started abusing the petitioner and subsequently assaulted him, the plea narrated.
ADJ Kumar's version was that he had been physically attacked and assaulted by two policemen, Krishna and Abhimanyu Kumar Sharma, Sub-Inspector of Police, Ghoghardiha. According to his letter to the High Court, the two accused policemen forcibly entered his chamber and started abusing him. When the judge protested, they manhandled and physically assaulted him, and even took out their service revolvers to attack the judge. The letter further reported that a few lawyers and court employees reached the spot on time, thereby, saving him from further harm. The Patna High Court, in 2021, had taken suo motu cognizance of the issue.
The State Government, under the threat of contempt, submitted the closure report on the ground of a "mistake of law" on June 20, this year, the same day on which the FIR was registered against the ADJ. The High Court then accepted the report and directed the lower court to close the proceedings.
The officer was not given any opportunity by the High Court while accepting the closure report, the court was told.
Meanwhile, the judge also lodged an FIR against the petitioner in November 2021, owing to which the petitioner was incarcerated. He was granted bail several months later.
Case Title: Gopal Krishna and Anr. vs State of Bihar | Diary No(s). 29193/2022