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Judges Shouldn't Succumb To Pressure Put By Parties By Recusing Themselves From Hearing Cases: Madhya Pradesh High Court

Sparsh Upadhyay
12 Dec 2021 6:00 AM GMT
Judges Shouldnt Succumb To Pressure Put By Parties By Recusing Themselves From Hearing Cases: Madhya Pradesh High Court
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The Madhya Pradesh High Court (Gwalior Bench) recently observed that no Judge should succumb to pressure put by the parties for recusing themselves from hearing the cases.The Bench of Justice Gurpal Singh Ahluwalia observed thus while rejecting an interim application (filed in a bail plea), moved by the wife of the appellant, seeking his recusal from hearing the second bail plea of a...

The Madhya Pradesh High Court (Gwalior Bench) recently observed that no Judge should succumb to pressure put by the parties for recusing themselves from hearing the cases.

The Bench of Justice Gurpal Singh Ahluwalia observed thus while rejecting an interim application (filed in a bail plea), moved by the wife of the appellant, seeking his recusal from hearing the second bail plea of a Murder accused/appellant.

The case in brief

Importantly, the recusal of Justice Ahluwalia was sought on the ground that he had made certain observations against the main accused (one Girraj Yadav), which, it was claimed, shows that the Court is biased against the main accused.

It may be noted that the application for the recusal of Justice Ahluwalia was not moved by the main accused, and rather, it was moved by the wife of the co-accused (appellant in the instant case).

Earlier, the wife of the appellant had filed an application on the administrative ground, requesting the Chief Justice to transfer the case from the Court of Justice Ahluwalia on the ground that he had made certain observations against the main accused, however, the application was rejected,

Thereafter, she moved another application before the Court of Justice Ahluwalia seeking his recusal from hearing the bail plea.

Court's observations

At the outset, the Court remarked that even the wife of the appellant knows that certain allegations, which have been made in the application are false, however, the Court added that it does not want to involve itself in this controversy anymore except by mentioning that there is no allegation of bias against the appellant.

So far as the allegations regarding the Court being biased against the main accused was concerned, the court said that it is sufficient to mention that the present application had not been moved by the main accused and the Court had already granted bail to two of the co-accused persons finding no admissible evidence.

However, the Court did add that its order denying bail to the main accused was based upon cogent grounds in view of the fact that as many as 33 cases have been registered against him and that the bail denial order was upheld by the Supreme Court as well.

Agaisnt this backdrop, the Court stressed that no person can be encouraged by recusing specifically when the application filed by the wife of the appellant on the administrative ground for transfer of the case has already been rejected.

"...this Court has always decided the bail application of co-accused persons purely on its own merits and some of the accused persons have also been granted bail, and some orders have already been upheld by the Supreme Court," the Court further added.

Importantly, the Bench of Justice Ahluwalia relied upon the Apex Court's observations in the case of Indore Development Authority Vs. Manoharlal and Others [SLP (Cri) Nos.9036-9038 of 2016].

In the Indore Development Authority case, Justice Arun Mishra had said :

"The ultimate test is that it is for the Judge to decide and to find out whether he will be able to deliver impartial justice to a cause with integrity with whatever intellectual capacity at his command and he is not prejudiced by any fact or law and is able to take an independent view".

Further, noting that although the application filed by the wife was contemptuous in nature, the Court clarified that it does not want to initiate proceedings for contempt of Court against the wife of the appellant with hope and believe that good senses would prevail at some point of time and therefore, dismissed her application.

Regarding the merits of the case, the Court noted that for the purposes of this bail application, prima facie it is clear that the appellant was a member of an unlawful assembly and was sharing a common object to kill the father of the complainant in the instant case, and thus, the Court rejected his second bail plea.

Case title - Balram v. State of MP and Anr.

Click here To Download/Read Order


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