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Passing Of Adverse Orders No Basis To Infer Personal Bias Of A Judge: Allahabad High Court Dismisses A Transfer Plea

Sparsh Upadhyay
12 Oct 2021 2:40 PM GMT
Passing Of Adverse Orders No Basis To Infer Personal Bias Of A Judge: Allahabad High Court Dismisses A Transfer Plea
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The Allahabad High Court last week observed that adverse orders are no basis to infer the personal bias of a Judge. The Court further noted that if this ground were to be permitted for allowing a transfer plea, the wheels of justice would come to a standstill.The Bench of Justice J. J. Munir observed thus while dismissing a plea seeking transfer of a Hindu Marriage Petition from the...

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The Allahabad High Court last week observed that adverse orders are no basis to infer the personal bias of a Judge. The Court further noted that if this ground were to be permitted for allowing a transfer plea, the wheels of justice would come to a standstill.

The Bench of Justice J. J. Munir observed thus while dismissing a plea seeking transfer of a Hindu Marriage Petition from the Additional Principal Judge, Family Court, Firozabad to some other court.

The case in brief 

The ground of transfer urged in support of the application was a doubt in the mind of the applicant (one Neha Bhardawaj) regarding the fairness and impartiality of the Presiding Officer in the Court of Additional Principal Judge, Family Court, Firozabad. She referred to the orders passed by the presiding judge to infer doubts about his fairness.

Essentially, she pointed out that issues in the case were framed on 11.12.2017, and after framing of issues, the respondent filed an application to admit certain documents, which could not be filed after framing of issues.

Since this application 34Ga was not served upon the applicant, she moved an application to the Court, seeking a direction to serve her with a copy of the documents, however, the same was rejected by the Presiding Officer vide order dated 25.01.2018.

Thereafter, she moved the HC wherein the respondent was directed to provide all documents to her.

Further, she claimed that the Court granted the last opportunity to her to lead her evidence, scheduling the cause for 11.08.2021 and on 11.08.2021, the opportunity of leading evidence was closed and the case was set down for address of arguments.

She asserted that she was surprised at the harsh behaviour of the Presiding Officer towards her.

She also alleged that on an application moved to consolidate her Hindu Marriage Petition No. 574 of 2014 and Case No. 75 of 2014 under Section 25 of the Hindu Marriage Act, the Court did not pass any orders and proceeded to close opportunity to lead evidence.

In view of this, she filed transfer plea before the High Court.

Court's order

At the outset, the Court observed that whatever had been urged to infer that the Presiding Officer of the Family Court is biased, was in the realm of conjecture and a manifestation of the general attitude of disrespect towards the Court, that appears to be fostered on illfound notions.

"Merely because the Court proceeds with a case expeditiously or turns down a motion interlocutory, illegally, it does not mean that the Court is biased against a particular litigant. In this case, if the transfer application were allowed, this Court would be inferring a bias against the Presiding Officer or at least, approving of a reasonable apprehension in the mind of the applicant about bias, without there being a shred of evidence to show any kind of a bias inferable from circumstances of any consequence," the Court ruled.

Lastly, finding no good ground to permit the transfer that the applicant seeks, the Court dismissed the plea.

Case title - Neha Bhardawaj v. Pankaj Bhardwaj

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