Advocate Ulhas Naik, who practices at the Bombay High Court, has sought a writ of quo-warranto to be issued with directions to the effect of calling for records of the Intelligence Bureau as well as the Department of Justice, Ministry of Law and Justice reports on Justice SK Shinde before he was elevated to the bench.
Naik has challenged Justice Shinde’s appointment as an Additional Judge of the Bombay High Court and questioned his appointment since he (Shinde J) “was compulsorily retired in public interest while serving as District/Sessions judge earlier.”
The petitioner had addressed a representation urging then CJI TS Thakur and other judges of the Supreme Court collegium on February 13, 2017, to hold an enquiry on Justice Sandeep Kashinath Shinde.
The petitioner alleged that Justice Shinde was rejected twice “for his misconduct and doubtful integrity while serving as District/Sessions Judge and then recommended for the third time for elevation as Additional Judge of the Bombay High Court while serving as the then Government Pleader and Chief Public Prosecutor”.
Despite the petitioner’s representation, Justice Shinde was appointed through a notification of the Ministry of Law and Justice dated May 31, 2017.
It has been alleged in the petition that despite all the representations and applications seeking disclosure of certain documents regarding allegations against Justice Shinde, the response Naik has received is that disclosure of such information is not possible as he is a third party.
The petitioner also annexed with the petition, a copy of the reply by the Public Information Officer of the Bombay High Court dated November 3, 2017, which states-
“Disclosure if Information sought by you would impede the process of investigation. Same is therefore, exempted from disclosure under Section 8(1)(h) of Right to Information Act, 2005 read with Rule 13(d) of Bombay High Court Rules to Information (Revised) Rules, 2009”.
Apart from Justice Shinde, the Bombay High Court through the Registrar General, Supreme Court through its Registrar, State of Maharashtra, Union of India, Intelligence Bureau and the President of India, have been named as respondents in the petition.
The matter is likely to come up for hearing on Thursday (January 4).