Abused, disrespected and taken in custody by a magistrate, a court staff posted at the Saket district court has written to the Delhi High Court Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal narrating how he suffered due to the “malicious and unconstitutional behaviour” of the judicial officer.
In his letter to the Acting Chief Justice, a copy of which has also been marked to the District and Sessions Judge and also the District Court Employees’ Welfare Association, the victim staff narrates the incidents of November 9.
Sources said the Employees' welfare association is pursuing the matter.
In his complaint, Mahendra Singh Rana, the Assistant Librarian-cum-information officer of Judges’ library at Saket Courts complex said on November 9, the library section received a phone call from the court of the Metropolitan Magistrate (south east) Harun Pratap that he needed a certain Bare Act and the Nazir of the court would be coming over to fetch the same.
However, sometime later, the naib of the court reached the library and demanded the Bare Act.
The dealing officer who was performing duty in respect of issuance and return of books advised naib court to send any of the court official to receive the book.
Thereafter, the naib court returned with the Reader of the court and received the book. He also told the staff posted in the library that the magistrate has sought personal appearance of an official of the library.
Being the in-charge of the judges’ library, the victim staff accompanied the Reader and the naib court.
When he appeared in the court, the magistrate asked him as to why the book was not issued to the naib of his court.
To this, the staff replied that since the naibs are not part of the court establishment, books are never handed over or issued to them.
At this, the magistrate allegedly shouted, “Tu khud aayega book dene meri court main”.
The magistrate went on to accuse him of interrupting the court proceedings by not issuing the book to the naib court and issued a show cause notice while directing the naib to keep him in court custody for an hour.
The staff pleaded with the magistrate to allow him to return after some time with a reply to the show cause notice but was not even issued a copy of the notice.
During his presence in the court, the magistrate repeatedly shouted at him and asked him to apologise. to which the staff said he has not done any wrong.
About 4 pm, the magistrate ordered that the staff be taken into custody.
He was released only after furnishing a personal bond of Rs 5,000.
The victim staff said in his complaint that all the while, he was requesting the magistrate to transfer the matter to the District Judge, but he chose to take suo motu cognizance while saying, “main hi karunga tera faisla”.
The victim staff said the magistrate declared him delinquent and conducted all proceedings within an hour without giving him any hearing. He says he was only doing his duty and following the procedure but was mistreated.
“The learned magistrate abused the judicial as well as administrative system and even misuse the judicial power and all the proceedings were against natural justice too,” said Rana in his complaint.
It is to be noted that the incident and the act of the magistrate is in violation of a 2005 circular issued by the then District & Session Judge whereby it was directed that peons and naib courts be not sent to call the officials of other branches as it affects the work of that branch and the staff gets the excuse of not doing the work.