The Delhi High Court on Thursday directed the Supreme Court's Registry to supply documents required for the investigation in a plea seeking quashing of FIR registered against a Court Master in Supreme Court who was allegedly found tampering with the apex court's order in Anil Ambani contempt case.
The Single Bench of Justice Suresh Kumar Kait has directed the Supreme Court's Registry to do the same within one week.
The order has come after the Investigating Officer informed the court today that the agency is awaiting certain documents that are supposed to be supplied by the Supreme Court's Registry.
The court has also directed the police to submit a status report within 3 days of receiving the documents from the said Registry.
The moot question raised by the petition is that as to whether Court Masters are criminally liable for an error in Court proceedings which stands verified not only by the concerned judges but also by the various levels of Registrar of the concerned Court.
In the present case, an FIR has been lodged against an Assistant Registrar of the Supreme Court for the allegation that he had recorded an incorrect proceedings.
On January 7, 2019, the Petitioner was assigned the duty of Assistant Registrar/Court Master (non shorthand) and was present in the Court No.6.
As per the petitioner, on that very day, an order was passed by the Supreme in a contempt case wherein the personal appearance of the contemnors were dispensed with.
The very next day, an Advocate On Record (AoR) approached the Petitioner saying that a correction needs to be made in the said order. The Petitioner replied by saying that the AoR should mention the plea for correction before the court as the order was approved by the Bench.
Consequently, the AoR moved mentioned the same before the concerned Bench. The Bench revised the order, which then read as:
'Personal appearance of the alleged contemnor(s) is not dispensed with.'
Despite such revision, on February 5, 2019, the aforesaid AoR moved a contempt petition saying that despite the revision of the order dated 7/1/2019, no contempt notices have been issued to the contemnors.
The Petitioner, therefore, submits that the real intention of the concerned AoR was not to seek the revision of the order but to ensure the issuance of notices to the contemnors which was delayed for almost a month.
He argues that neither he can be even alleged to have played any role, much less a role with a criminal intent nor it can even be alleged that the above-mentioned acts and proceedings could be termed as an act invoking any criminal proceedings against him.
Further, it is submitted in the petition that if the Court Masters are to be implicated in criminal cases on the sole pretext of some error in court proceedings, then it would be extremely difficult for them to perform their official functions leading to chaos and to face malicious prosecutions like this.
On these grounds, the Petitioner has invoked the jurisdiction of the Delhi High Court under section 482 of CrPC, for quashing of the FIR lodged against him.
The next date of hearing in the present matter is March 13. The Petitioner in this case is being represented by Advocate Rishi Malhotra