Case BriefsHigh Courts

Andhra Pradesh High Court: A Division Bench of M. Satyanarayana Murthy and Lalitha Kanneganti, JJ., ordered an enquiry into a conversation contained in pen-drive disclosing some material about designing a plot against the Chief Justice of Andhra Pradesh and another sitting Judge of the Supreme Court.

Court stated that,

“Unfortunately, today it is an unpleasant or gloomy day in the history of High Court of Andhra Pradesh, because the High court itself has to ward-off the brazen onslaught from the third parties to demean the prestige of the pristine judicial institution in the eye of litigant public.”

Audio conversation contained in the pen drive disclosed that it was a serious conspiracy against the Chief Justice of Andhra Pradesh High Court by designing a plot and sent a petition by the person who had a conversation with a person named S. Ramakrishna allegedly, but signed by Secretary of BC/SC/ST Association.

The said person insisted on Sri S. Ramakrishna to collect material against another senior most sitting Judge of the Supreme Court to mar his future career.

Bench stated that since the plot is designed against the Chief Justice of Andhra Pradesh High Court with malafide intention unless the authenticity of the contents is established, Court cannot proceed against anyone.

Further, the Court observed that the way as to how the conversation between the two persons took place, would prima facie establish that there was a conspiracy against the Chief Justice of Andhra Pradesh and Senior-most Judge of Supreme Court, pernicious acts of the person who made such allegation to be discouraged. Otherwise, the public may lose faith in the Courts.

Conversation discloses use of intemperate language against two senior most sitting Judges of the Supreme Court and it is a matter of serious concern.

Such conversation will certinly crumble the confidence of the public on Courts and system itself.

Further, the Court added that in the judicial process, it is the solemn duty of the Court to unravel the truth. In the present matter, only way to unravel the truth is to order necessary enquiry.

Truth should be the Guiding Star in the entire judicial process.

Hence, Court found the present case to be appropriate for ordering enquiry to find out the authenticity of the conversation contained in the pen-drive.

Therefore, Justice Raveendran, retired Judge of the Supreme Court of India is requested to hold an enquiry to find out the authenticity of the conversation, with regard to the plot designed against the Chief Justice of Andhra Pradesh and being designed against senior most sitting Judges of the Supreme Court and undisclosed interest of the third parties.

Director of CBI and Director of Intelligence Bureau are directed to depute responsible officers of the department to collect information from the agencies pertaining to the conversation contained in the pen-drive and other material collected from the Registry and submit the same to Justice R.V. Raveendran, retired Judge of Supreme Court of India.

Matter to be listed in 4 weeks.[BC, SC, ST Minority Student Federation v. Union Of India, 2020 SCC OnLine AP 652, decided on 13-08-2020]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Patna High Court: The Bench of Ahsanuddin Amanullah, J. allowed an application filed under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 seeking quashing of a criminal case.

Respondent 2 herein had filed a complaint against petitioner and few other people alleging that he had induced him to invest Rs 28 lakhs in a construction company. The Magistrate took cognizance of the said offence under Sections 120 B, 420 of the Penal Code, 1860 and Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 and issued summon against the petitioner. Aggrieved thereby, the instant application was filed.

The petitioner’s case was that there was no material on record to show that he had induced respondent 2 to invest in the company. It was argued that making the petitioner an accused in the case, only because he was a Director of the Company, was abuse of process of the Court.

The Court noted that there being absolutely no allegation against petitioner in the entire complaint with regard to either inducement or entrustment of money or even issuance of cheque; just because he was a Director in the concerned company, it would not make him liable for any of the allegations levelled against other co-accused. It was concluded that prosecution against the petitioner was with malafide intention and only to harass him. Accordingly, the entire criminal proceeding against him was quashed.[Ramanjee Jha v. State Of Bihar, 2019 SCC OnLine Pat 228, Order dated 21-02-2019]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Madhya Pradesh High Court: Petitioner had filed this petition before a Single Judge Bench comprising of Vandana Kasrekar, J., against the order of respondents where petitioner’s representation with regard to his transfer was rejected.

Facts of the case are that petitioner was working on the post of Patwari and was also the President of the District Unit of the “Patwari Association”. Petitioner was transferred in response of which he filed representation to cancel the transfer on the ground that his wife was seriously ill and he himself was suffering from 40 percent of physical disability. Since no action was taken, a writ petition was filed and respondents were directed to reply to representation made by petitioner thereafter the representation was rejected and his services were transferred. Again petitioner submitted representation against the above transfer of services where again the representation was not responded to and petitioner had to file a writ before this court whereby respondents were ordered to respond to representation of the petitioner. Respondents rejected his representation once more and aggrieved by the same petitioner had filed this instant petition.

Petitioner opposed the rejection of his representation on two grounds. First, that respondents should have taken a lenient approach by considering his disability and ill health of his wife. Second, that petitioner is immune from transfer as he was the Office Bearer of recognized Association. Court while responding to the first ground stated by petitioner, observed that humanitarian considerations for employees posting cannot outweigh administrative exigency in the posting. Court also observed that it cannot interfere unless the transfer order suffers from malafide exercise of powers. While referring to Sanjeet Hardaha v. Sachin Jain, W.A. No.50 of 2018, Ramesh Kumar Soni Vs. State of MP, W.P. 12231 of 2017 and Prashant Shrivastava v. State of M.P., W.A. No.912 of 2018 it was stated that petitioner failed to show any malafide or violation of statutory rules in passing the impugned order. Therefore, the writ petition was dismissed. [Jagendra Pipri v. State of M.P., 2018 SCC OnLine MP 499, dated 29-08-2018]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Bombay High Court: A Division Bench comprising of V.K. Tahilramani, Acting CJ and M.S. Sonak, J., dismissed a writ petition challenging the judgment of Central Administrative Tribunal wherein the Tribunal declined to interfere with the recommendations for promotion by DPC, Union Public Service Commission.

The dispute related to seniority and promotion of the petitioners as well as respondents. The petitioners contended that in the year 2000, the DPC had applied the yardstick of seniority-cum-fitness for promotions. However, in 2003, it applied some other yardstick, which, according to the petitioners, vitiated the proceedings of DPC. The Tribunal dismissed the original applications filed by the petitioners. Aggrieved thus, the petitioners filed the instant petition.

The High Court was unable to accept petitioners’ contention that DPC had adopted any unequal yardstick. In the affidavit filed by UPSC, it categorically stated that for the period in question, the selections were held in strict compliance of the regulations then in force. The petitioners failed to show that the procedure was in breach of the regulations. The Court relied on Supreme Court decision in Nutan Avind v. Union of India, 1996 (2) SCC 488, to observe that UPSC being a statutory body, and in absence of the petitioners demonstrating any statutory breach or mala fides, ordinarily it is not for the tribunals and courts to second-guess decisions of such expert bodies. For the said reasons, the High Court dismissed the petition. [Sadanand J. Koche v. Union of India,2018 SCC OnLine Bom 1916, dated 12-07-2018]