Bombay HC Dismisses Contempt Petition Against Two HC Judges, Attorney General, Adv Gen of Maharashtra [Read Judgment]
The Bombay High Court has dismissed a contempt petition filed by Dr. Manohar Rawate seeking action against Justice (retd) Anoop Mohta and Justice GS Kulkarni. The petitioner alleged that the two judges had "forged an order" dated September 29, 2016.
Dr. Rawate has appeared in person before the division bench of Justice BP Dharmadhikari and Justice Revati Mohite Dere. The bench concluded that the petitioner's efforts to prove his case of contempt against the respondents were unsustainable. The court refused to issue notice to any of the respondents and rejected the petition.
On October 27, 2017, the then Advocate General of Maharashtra, now Justice RB Deo, refused to grant content to the petitioner to file an application under Section 15 of the Contempt of Courts Act. The said order by the Advocate General has been challenged by the petitioner, hence, the Advocate General was also a respondent in the matter. Apart from this, the Attorney General and Union of India were named as respondents in the matter.
The petitioner had initially filed four writ petitions before the high court alleging that the respondents in the matter had forged annual confidential reports of 1988-1989. He also filed a criminal complaint before a Metropolitan Magistrate against the same respondent.
These petitions came up before the bench of Justice Mohta and Justice Kulkarni for final hearing on the said date of September 29, 2016 and the bench adjourned the petition sine die with liberty to the petitioner to move an application for hearing after criminal proceedings are over.
It was alleged in the contempt petition that the petitioner was not permitted to read out the papers or composite synopsis. Justice Mohta did not permit the petitioner to read those papers and Justice Kulkarni stated that the said petitions should be dismissed and that he has to pursue the criminal case as evidence is not acceptable in a writ petition, the petitioner alleged. It was further alleged by the petitioner that he was not permitted to urge anything on forged confidential reports while respondent's senior counsel SK Talsaniya was allowed to submit "anything".
The court referred to the petitioner's claim of being a lawyer:
"The office report by the Registrar Judicial 1 shows that the petitioner does not have sufficient knowledge of law and procedure and therefore would not be in position to assist the Court. It appears that on 3/12/2018 the petitioner claimed to be advocate enrolled with Bar Council of Maharashtra and Goa. The then Division Bench found that the Committee which denied him permission to appear in person has also noted this fact. Said Division Bench permitted the petitioner to amend his petition and also observed that the petitioner, subject to following decorum and propriety, is entitled to appear in person."
After finishing his arguments, the petitioner sought a certificate to file an appeal before the Supreme Court under Articles 132 and 135 of the Constitution, in case the order was to go against him.
The court observed-
"It is to be noted that during arguments before this Court, the petitioner did not refer to the decision dated 27/10/2017 passed by the Advocate General and did not utter a word to point out why it is not in accordance with law. He also did not point out why in absence of said refusal by the Advocate General, this proceeding under section 15 should be entertained.
The petitioner has relied upon the judgment of the Hon'ble Apex Court reported in Dr. Vimal vs. The Delhi Administration but in above facts, we find reliance upon it as misconceived. The Petitioner could not demonstrate how the signed order which postponed consideration of challenge in the Writ petition till adjournment in relation to annual confidential reports is injurious to him."
Noting that no other order except the one dated September 29 was placed on record, the court concluded that the petitioner's effort in the said petition was unsustainable.
"We are therefore not inclined to issue notice of this matter to any of the respondents. We reject the Criminal Contempt Petition. Request for any certificate to approach Hon'ble Apex Court is also rejected as no substantial question of law as to interpretation of the Constitution is either involved or arises for determination," the court said.
Read the Judgment Here