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The Bar Must Discourage Their Clients From Raising Baseless Allegations Against The Judicial Officers: Madras High Court

Sparsh Upadhyay
16 Feb 2021 6:00 AM GMT
The Bar Must Discourage Their Clients From Raising Baseless Allegations Against The Judicial Officers: Madras High Court
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The Madras High Court (Madurai Bench) recently observed that the bar must discourage their clients and the litigant from raising baseless allegations against the officers and they must desist from incorporating the same in the pleadings. This observation by Justice K. Murali Shankar came in a revision petition filed alleging that the petitioner was not afforded sufficient opportunity...

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The Madras High Court (Madurai Bench) recently observed that the bar must discourage their clients and the litigant from raising baseless allegations against the officers and they must desist from incorporating the same in the pleadings.

This observation by Justice K. Murali Shankar came in a revision petition filed alleging that the petitioner was not afforded sufficient opportunity to argue the case elaborately in physical mode.

Further, the Bench also observed,

"It is high time for the stakeholders of the Judiciary to refrain from making allegations or leveling charges against the Judicial officers without any basis or iota of truth."

The matter in brief

The petitioner has been booked for the offences under Sections 7,12 and 13 (2) r/w. 13(1)(d) of Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 and he is facing trial.

It was alleged by the petitioner that an application filed by the petitioner under Section 91 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) was dismissed by the trial court without hearing the petitioner's side and that the order impugned in the revision is liable to be set aside.

[NOTE: The power conferred under Section 91 Cr.P.C., are aimed at arming the Court or any officer in charge of a police station to enforce and to ensure the production of any document or other things "necessary or desirable" for the purpose of any investigation, inquiry, trial or other proceedings under the Code, by issuing a summons or written order to those in possession of such material.]

However, the petitioner's Counsel clarified before the Court that he was not blaming or making any allegation against the judicial officer and that he was not pressing the said ground of attack.

To this, the Court said,

"The immediate response of the learned counsel in withdrawing the said allegation is very much appreciable. But since the said ground of attack finds place in the main original petition, this Court is constrained to deal with the same."

Importantly, while noting that the petitioner didn't raise any objection before the trial Court, the Court also observed,

"During the COVID Pandemic period, the entire Country was working virtually…The very lodging of a complaint that the petitioner was not given an opportunity to argue elaborately physically is very much against the orders of the Hon'ble Supreme Court permitting virtual hearing of the cases and the directions of this Court issued through various circulars during the Pandemic period for conducting the cases virtually."

Lastly, noting that any party invoking Section 91 Cr.P.C., is bound to show the relevancy and necessity or desirability for the said documents and that the petitioner nowhere stated about the necessity or desirability of the Document, the Court said,

"It is settled law that Section 91 Cr.P.C., does not give an absolute right for the accused to ask for summoning any document and it is only when the Court on a consideration of facts and circumstances, considers that the production of the document or thing sought for is necessary or desirable for the purpose of the trial, enquiry or proceedings would summon the same, but, not otherwise. Hence, it is to be only seen as to whether the trial Court has judiciously and judicially exercised its discretion."

The Court also observed that the petition was filed only to protract and prolong the proceedings. Hence, the Court found no infirmity in the impugned order passed by the learned Special Judge, and thus, the revision petition was dismissed.

Case title - A. Lakshmanan v. State

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