SC Expunges Strictures Passed Against Sitting District Judge By Allahabad HC [Read Order]
The Supreme Court in VN Singh vs Neelam Mishra & Ors. has expunged certain remarks made by the Allahabad High Court against a sitting district judge in the impugned judgment.
The sitting district judge, who had retired since then, was aggrieved by the observations made in the impugned order in respect of his handling of an appeal against an interim order where a status quo order was granted on the first date of hearing. The matter was taken up by him thereafter on couple of days and arguments were partly heard and concluded and ultimately the objection of the respondents in the appeal of lack of pecuniary jurisdiction was upheld.
The High Court in appeal, however, found that the appeal before the district judge being without pecuniary jurisdiction, should have been thrown out at the threshold and the conduct of the appellant district judge in not doing so and adjourning the proceedings was not acceptable. The relevant observations made by the high court were that the district judge went on leave which appeared to be a deliberate effort so that the application was not decided. The district judge was warned and advised to be careful in future and also the copy of the order was sent to the Registrar General of the high court for future guidance and to be placed on his personal file.
As none appeared for the respondents, the Supreme Court appointed Kailash Vasudev as amicus to assist the court. AOR AK Prasad and advocate Namit Saxena represented the district judge. The bench of Justice J Chelameswar and Justice SK Kaul recorded vide order dated 22.11.2017, that: “We are also conscious of the fact of the overload with the Judicial officers especially in the State of Uttar Pradesh. Number of cases listed is manifold the times of the ideal amount of cases which should be dealt with by the appellant Officer. It appears that rather than deal with the preliminary objections separately, the learned Judge possibly thought it fit to hear the matter in totality including on merits and kept short dates. We do believe that the conduct of the Officer in such a scenario cannot be doubted and the stigma ought not to be cast on the Officer by the observations made in the impugned order. It is also informed that the appellant has retired as Judicial Officer by now. We thus strike out the observations made in the impugned order qua the conduct of the appellant as also the direction consequently made to place the same on the service record.”Read the Order Here