8 April 2022 2:35 PM GMT
The Madhya Pradesh High Court on Thursday voiced its disapproval to an attempt made by Senior Advocate Mrigendra Singh to call for the recusal of the presiding judge (Justice Atul Shridharan) saying that he should rescue himself because of an apparent bias on the Judge's part.In response to the call made by the Senior advocate, the Bench observed that the designation of any Advocate as...
The Madhya Pradesh High Court on Thursday voiced its disapproval to an attempt made by Senior Advocate Mrigendra Singh to call for the recusal of the presiding judge (Justice Atul Shridharan) saying that he should rescue himself because of an apparent bias on the Judge's part.
In response to the call made by the Senior advocate, the Bench observed that the designation of any Advocate as a Senior Advocate is an investiture of Honour for his vast knowledge, erudition, articulation, and legal acumen.
However, the Court added, he must display poise, patience, and most importantly extreme grace in his conduct as a Counsel.
The Court further remarked that it is unbecoming of an Advocate who dons silk to address the Court imputing scurrilous allegations of bias, when the Court does not agree with his/her submissions.
Not just that, the High Court also requested the State Bar Council to initiate and take 'Strictest Possible Action' against the Senior Counsel for his intemperate and unpardonable conduct exhibited before the Court.
The background of the case
Essentially, the Court was dealing with a Criminal Matter where the offenses registered under Section 406, 420, and 379 of IPC registered at the instance of a Complainant who happened to be the wife of a senior IPS officer of the State, were challenged by the accused.
The FIR came to be registered under the aforesaid provisions when the cheques given by the Accused to the Complainant (wife of a Senior IPS Officer of the State) got bounced.
During the course of proceedings, when the Single Judge pointed out that it was a case where the Police machinery had been abused just because the husband of the Complainant happened to be a Senior IPS Officer, the Senior Counsel for the Complainant Mr. Mrigendra Singh alleged bias on the Court and stated that it must recuse, because it was pre-conceived with prejudiced notions against his client.
The Senior Counsel also alleged imputations on the Court of holding grudge against Police Officers as a class, for which reason, the Senior Counselasked the Judge to send the matter to another Court.
Irked by the imputations of bias and request for recusal, the Single Bench sternly observed that not only as a Senior Advocate, but also as an Office-Bearer of the State Bar Council, the MP State Bar Council must take the 'Strictest Possible Action' for his intemperate and unpardonable conduct before the Court.
The Court directed and observed thus:
This Court takes great umbrage to the conduct of the senior counsel who has cast aspersions on the neutrality of the Court without adequate cause. However, the Court refuses to recuse itself and condemns the conduct and the words used by the senior counsel in the strongest possible terms. The Court was cut short by Mr. Mrigendra Singh before it could complete its observation that in the State of Madhya Pradesh, in comparison to other States, the situation is far better and the tendency of burking the crime rate is far lesser. The Senior Advocate in question is an Office Bearer of the Bar Council. If I refer this case to the Bar Council, perhaps precious little will be done. However, that notwithstanding, I still consider it essential to place this order before the Chairman of the Madhya Pradesh State Bar Council with a request to take the strictest possible action against the senior counsel for his intemperate and unpardonable conduct. The action taken will be a moment of truth, not just for the institutions of the Bar and the Bench, but to the people of this state with regard to the extent to which the Bar Council is willing to go in order to bring in line the erring members in the profession."
Moving ahead, the Court quashed the FIR registered against the Accused who happened to be the Brother-in-Law of the IPS Officer whose wife was the Complainant.
Case title - Prakash Singh and Nandita Singh v. State of MP and anr
Click Here To Read/Download Order