Kar HC | “Justice should not only be done but also seem to be done”: Court quashes order of disqualification and directs re-inquiry

Karnataka High Court: Krishna S. Dixit, J. allowed the writ petition in part by quashing the previous order by the Joint Registrar and reassigning the matter to another Registrar.

In the present case, the petitioner who was the president of DCC Bank Shivamogga was disqualified from his presidentship by the Joint Registrar of Co-operative Societies. Jayakumar Patil, counsel appearing on behalf of the petitioner, vehemently opposed this disqualification and submitted that the Joint Registrar took his decision based on a hasty inquiry which trigger the presumption of some ulterior motive. He further submitted that the petitioner was a popular president which resulted in his re-election ten times before his disqualification. Therefore, the petitioner expressed no faith in the Joint Registrar.

Advocate General, Prabhulinga Navadgi, appearing on behalf of the respondents contended that although the Joint Registrar could have refrained from deciding the matter, there cannot be any aspersions cast on him for his decision. Therefore, he suggested that taking into consideration the controversy surrounding the decision, a fresh proceeding should be constituted and be heard by any one of the four Joint Registrars registered in the memo.

The Court held that the interplay between justice and fairness needed the said matter to be put under inquiry again. Hence, the Court quashed the previous order of the Joint Registrar and placed the matter to be heard by the Joint Registrar, Chitradurg.[R.M. Manjunath Gowda v. State of Karnataka, 2020 SCC OnLine Kar 1283, decided on 14-08-2020]

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