Delhi High Court

Delhi High Court: By way of present petition, Rail Dawa Bar Association challenged the re-appointment of retired Justice K.S. Ahluwalia (respondent 3) as chairperson of Railway Claims Tribunal, New Delhi and further prayed for directing the Union of India to frame rules and regulations laying down a fair and transparent selection procedure for appointment to the post of Chairman, Vice Chairman (Judicial), Vice Chairman (Technical), Member (Judicial) and Members (Technical) in Railway Claims Tribunal. While exercising its writ jurisdiction, the Single Judge Bench of Pratibha M. Singh, J., dismissed the petition with cost of INR 50,000 stating that it was an attempt to vilify judges without any reasonable basis which cannot be permitted.

In the matter at hand, an application seeking stay of the proposal to appoint respondent 3 as the Chairman, Railway Claims Tribunal was dismissed dated 05-09-2022 due to non-existence of any reasonable grounds.

The Court after perusing the documents available on record held that “the petition was a mala fide attempt to throw mud on the reputation of the incumbent and is a gross abuse of process. Unnecessary and scandalous allegations have been made in the rejoinder which this Court does not condone.” Further held that none of the grounds raised in the petition were made for setting aside the appointment or re-appointment.

The Bench was of the view that the petition was nothing but an attempt towards undermining the dignity of the current Chairman of the Railway Claims Tribunal and impede the functioning of the Railway Claims Tribunal with an oblique motive.

Further opined that it was an attempt on behalf of the lawyers’ association to raise aspersions against the duly constituted Tribunal. With this observation, the Court dismissed the petition which was made to vilify Judges without any reasonable basis, be it Judges of Constitutional Courts, Trial Courts or judges presiding over Quasi-judicial bodies that could not be permitted. The Bench consequently imposed cost of INR 50,000 which was to be paid to the Delhi High Court Legal Services Committee.

[Rail Dawa Bar Association v Union of India, 2023 SCC OnLine Del 1503, decided on 10-03-2023]

Advocates who appeared in this case :

For the petitioner- Advocate Ashok Pandey and Advocate Dashmesh Tripathi;

For the respondent- Additional Solicitor General Chetan Sharma, Central Government Standing Council Apoorv Kurup, Advocate Kirti D., Advocate Nidhi Mittal and Advocate Ojaswa Pathak.

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