Case BriefsHigh Courts

Delhi High Court: The Division Bench of Rajiv Shakdher and Jasmeet Singh, JJ., strikes down the OM dated 13-7-2021, to the extent it requires Judges of the Supreme Court and the High Court to seek political clearance qua private visits abroad.

Why was the present application filed?

  • Set aside and/or quash the notification/office memorandum dated 13-7-2021 issued by the Union of India through Ministry of External Affairs
  • Set aside the communication issued by the Ministry of Law and Justice
  • Stay the operation of the notification/office memorandum dated 13-7-2021 issued by the Union of India through the Ministry of External Affairs during the pendency of the present application.

Concern was with regard to the aspect embedded in paragraphs 2 and 3 of the Office Memorandum dated 13-7-2021 requiring the Judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts to obtain political clearance for private visits abroad.

The sum and substance of the O.M. was that it required judges of Constitutional Courts i.e., the Supreme Court and the High Court to seek political clearance qua private visits to foreign countries, infringes not only their right of privacy but also, in a sense, degrades and/or diminishes the high office that they hold.

High Court noted that on 15-2-2011, guidelines had been issued concerning foreign visits by Judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts.

This Court by a decision dated 25-5-2012 had issued a slew of directions concerning the above-said guidelines. Though the Court did not deem it fit to pass any directions vis-à-vis the paragraph with regard to dispensing with the requirement of the Judges of the Supreme Court and the High Courts to obtain political clearance for private foreign visits.

Bench opined that the O.M dated 13-7-2021, requiring the Judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts to seek political clearance for private foreign visits is uncalled for, given the high offices they are holding, especially given the fact that nothing has changed since the 2011 guidelines were issued.

With regard to the relief sought in clause (b) was concerned, the said will have to be partially allowed as it was a communication addressed by the Government of India, Ministry of law and Justice, Department of Justice to the Secretary-General, Supreme Court of India and the Registrar Generals of High Courts requiring them to take “appropriate action” in consonance with the O.M. Since Court has struck down the O.M. to the extent it requires judges of the Supreme Court and the High Courts to the obtain political clearance qua foreign (private) visit, the said communication, which is, dated 18.08.2021 will get truncated to that degree.

In view of the above analysis, the application was closed. [Aman Vachar v. Union of India, WP (C) No. 2712 of 1991, decided on 1-4-2022]


Advocates before the Court:

For the Petitioner:

Petitioner-in-person

For the Respondent:

Mr Tushar Mehta, Solicitor General of India with Mr Imon Bhattacharya, Adv.

Case BriefsForeign Courts

Court of Appeal of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka: Sampath B Abayakoon, J. while deciding on an appeal against conviction and sentence of the appellant, dismissed the appeal as it lacked merit.

The appellant was sentenced to 8 years of rigorous imprisonment with fine along with paying Rs.9000/- against Section 26 of the Bribery Act. The Appellant, who was the land officer allegedly took bribe in order to arrange the permit for a land. The Appellant alleged that this incident was a political conspiracy at the instigation of a government minister of the area as his wife’s family members were strong supporters of an opposition political party. Most of the factual events that took place were admitted by the appellant except for the solicitation and the acceptance of the money. It was contended further that the High Court judge failed to consider the defence fairly, in the equal footing and as a whole, hence, the rejection of the defence was a misdirection.

The Court observed that the victimization because of affiliation to opposition party had happened 5 years ago and there is nothing to say that he himself was a subject of such victimization as claimed & thus, the claim has no basis. The Court also rejected the claim that money was forcibly planted to frame the appellant.

Therefore, the Court found no merit in the present case and it was subsequently dismissed.[Girigoris Jansage Lesli Senadeera v. Director-General, 2022 SCC OnLine SL CA 1, decided on 21-02-2022]


Appearances by:

Anil Silva, PC for the Accused-Appellant

Subashini Siriwardena, Addl. Director General of the Bribery Commission for the Respondent


Suchita Shukla, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

Case BriefsForeign Courts

Supreme Court of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka: The Full Bench of P. Padman Surasena, E.A.G.R Amarasekara and A.H.M.D Nawaz, JJ., dismissed an application in the matter related to political victimisation of police officers.

In the present matter the petitioners were police officials and they were subjected to victimisation due to political pressure during the period of 1994-2004. It was finally in the year 2015. that the concerned cabinet minister abiding  by the memorandum dated March 09, 2015, allowed such aggrieved police officials to submit their appeals and subsequently a high level committee was set up to examine such appeals.

After the abovementioned chain of events it came to light that the committee thus constituted made some conflicting recommendations and eventually a new committee was set up and it suggested that the relief is to be provided to 129 police officials.

The petitioners contended that out of the list of the proposed 129 officials only as many as 3 officials get the desired relief.

Another important contention from petitioners was that that as far as the cabinet decision is concerned, it should be uniformly applicable to all the officials in accordance with the rules and that differential treatment on such basis is violating the fundamental rights of the petitioners guaranteed under article 12 (1) of the Sri Lankan constitution.

Relief prayed by the petitioners:

(a) Declare that the fundamental rights of the petitioners guaranteed under article 12 (1) of the constitution has been violated.

(b) That the petitioners are eligible for promotion

(c) Direct the respondents to grant promotion to petitioners.

The respondents (Inspector General of Police) informed the bench that the implementation of the relief thus given was in accordance with official cabinet decision and there is nothing wrong in the process thus followed.

The Court relying on the judgment of Farook v. Dharmaratne, Chairman, Provincial Public Service Commission, 2005 (1) Sri L. R. 133 at page 140, concluded that the petitioners did not hold any solid ground in their case and therefore were not entitled to succeed with the prayers and eventually the case went to be decided in the favour of the respondents.[Kalwahandi Garvin Premalal Silva v. K. W. E. Karaliyadda, SF FR 383 of 2016, decided on 16-12-2021]


Suchita Shukla, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.


Advocates for Petitioners:  

Harsha Fernando

Chamith Senanayake

Yohan Coorey

Ruven Weerasinghe

Advocates for Respondents:

Rajiv Goonetilleke