Updated: August 30, 2019 9:35:27 am
An 11-judge bench of the Patna High Court Thursday suspended an order by fellow judge Justice Rakesh Kumar who, while ruling on an anticipatory bail matter, alleged corruption and nepotism in the judiciary.
Justice Kumar’s order, the bench said, is “to shake the confidence of the public in the judiciary and to lower its esteem to levels that may amount contemptuous”.
Ruling Wednesday on an anticipatory bail petition of a retired officer accused of siphoning government funds, Justice Kumar said he would not remain “a mute spectator” and wanted his order sent via registered post to the Supreme Court, Prime Minister’s Office and the Law Ministry.
Justice Kumar, 60, was appointed as an Additional Judge of the Patna High Court on December 25, 2009 and took oath as Permanent Judge on October 24, 2011. According to the High Court website, he had practised in the Patna High Court for about 26 years on the criminal and constitutional side and “defended the cases of CBI in the capacity of standing Counsel (CBI) for about 12 years”.
Taking note of Justice Kumar’s order Thursday and constituting a suo motu bench, the 11 judges, in their order, said: “The Court Master also stated that the Hon’ble Judge had summoned the file for perusal a couple of days ago and had studied the same. It is, therefore, evident that the preparation appears to have commenced a couple of days prior to the passing of the order.”
“…he has made scathing remarks against his colleague Judges who fortunately had passed together in the year 1986 from the Law College. This has absolutely no relevance to the controversy and then by taking a leap he has also commented upon the association of the Chief Justice with some Judges in a thoroughly indecent language which has no foundation. This is the illustrative rainbow depiction of the order that has compelled us to proceed in the matter,” the bench said.
“Unfortunately those who have been castigated, if they are alive, have not been heard, and those who are dead, by providence and nature stand precluded from defending themselves.”
“Such uncharity unleashed appears to be definitely an outcome of some personal prejudice that may have its genesis in a personal background as the utterances and overtures, as recorded and reported already in the print and social media, are full of anguish tending towards vengeance and not real reform. A sudden leap in the sky through an approach of gaining yellow page fame appears to be one of the motives behind the pronouncement,” the bench said of Justice Kumar.
It went on to note: “Personal carping and unceremonious comments on all and sundry alike seems to be drowned in some sort of personal belief of the learned Judge that whatever he has perceived from his experience is all 24 carat truth, and the rest of the world, except himself, has created all the misery around. The description is to malign which ought not to have been expressed while occupying a judicial seat with a specified limited jurisdiction, that too in a matter in which for the time being he had no jurisdiction at all.”
“The entire order is a burning example of the violations of principles of natural justice, judicial impropriety and a malicious tirade in the name of some crusade in the opinion of the Judge. The learned Judge has ordained himself to be the only mentor of all his perceptions about different forms of infamy without having the courtesy of the view point of others. The thoughts that pervade the pronouncement seem to believe that the personal impressions of the learned Judge are the only truth, and that the rest of the world is oblivious of the ills of society. This may have impelled the learned Judge to trumpet his voice, but in our humble opinion, from a totally inappropriate altar through somewhat besmirching gossip,” the bench said in its order.
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