The Calcutta High Court on Monday imposed costs of Rs.50,000/- upon an advocate-on-record for filing a second bail application despite the fact that an earlier application for bail in connection with the same offence and the same police station case number was directed to be listed before the Court after resumption of normalcy in its functioning.
"It is an alarming and shocking state of affairs that the member of the bar taking advantage of the matter being taken on a virtual platform filed the application for bail when being alive of the fact that an earlier application for bail in connection with the same offence and the same police station case number was directed to be listed before this Court after resumption of normalcy in its functioning", observed the division bench sternly.
The court further pulled up the advocate for taking a lame excuse that because of non-issuance of a certificate of receiving the application, several applications were posted on the e-mail of the Registrar General and the present application is one of such instances. He prayed for withdrawal of the instant application, but the bench instead rejected the bail plea.
"The learned advocate appearing for the petitioner in the present application in fact, appeared in the said application as well and, therefore, was alive of the said order having passed by the Co-ordinate Bench. Despite having aware of such fact, the present bail application has again been filed taking advantage of the limited functioning of the Court and complete vigil over the filing, as the applications are being received through e-mail and the verification has been compromised to the great extent because of the difficulty in normal functioning of the Court due to COVID-19", reprimanded the bench.
The Court refused to entertain the submission of the advocate for the State that the said advocate is in a habit of filing the successive application even when the earlier applications are either disposed of or directed to be listed after normalcy is restored in the functioning of the Court. "We do not delve to go deep to such aspect in absence of any cogent and corroborative evidence", said the bench.
"We are shocked to find that despite having aware of the earlier order, the same advocate-on-record has filed the instant application taking advantage of the disruption of the normal functioning of the Court. The present application bereft of any statement concerning the earlier application for bail as indicated above and the order passed therein rather there is a categorical statement that no prior application has been filed before this Court which would be evident from paragraph 1 thereof", the Court expressed its displeasure.
Employing strict terms, the bench observed that "The member of the bar has not only the onerous duty to his client but have more responsible duty towards the Court. He cannot take the Court for a ride nor any attempt in this behalf can be compromised by the Bench. Such brazen attempt on the part of the member of the bar would not only tarnish the image of the judiciary but would also percolate wrong signal to the litigants as well as the society".
The Court directed the sum of Rs. 50,000 to be deposited with the State Legal Services Authorities within a month from date, failing which the State Legal Services Authorities shall proceed to recover the said amount by initiating a proceeding treating the same as debt under the Bengal Public Demands Recovery Act, 1913.
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