The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Sacked judge throws down court gauntlet

Dhanbad, Aug. 2: R.K. Srivastava, who was one of the three judicial magistrates dismissed on the recommendation of the high court, today said he would challenge the dismissal in the high court.

Claiming that he had been victimised for reasons unknown to him, he questioned why he was not asked to reply to a showcause or a chargesheet.

“All that I received was a letter from the district judge who demanded why I had acquitted the accused in a certain case. I replied to the letter and maintained that I had judged the issue on merit. I received no communication thereafter till the letter dismissing me was delivered this week,” said Srivastava.

The other two who were dismissed are Garhwa sub-judge Ajit Kumar and judicial magistrate in charge of a fast-track court in Jamshedpur D.C. Shukla.

Members of the Dhanbad Bar Association hinted that they would rally around Srivastava, whose integrity “could not be questioned”. An emergency meeting of the Bar Association has been convened on Monday to discuss the issue.

Srivastava, who has a B.Tech degree in civil engineering and joined the Jharkhand judicial service two-and-a-half-years ago, said the letter dismissing him from service cites no reason. “I don’t even know why I have been sacked,” he said. The communication merely informs him that he is being “removed from service” because of his “working”.

“The notice said I was being removed after deliberations over my way of working. But it does not mention specific charges. Had there been specific charges, I should have been informed,” Srivastava said.

A letter written to the Chief Justice of Jharkhand High Court by one Raj Kumar of Hirapur, Dhanbad, in March triggered the dismissal process. The judicial magistrate was accused of favouring managing committee members of the Bharat Sevak Samaj Mahila Mahavidyalaya and acquitting them because of insufficient evidence in a defalcation case.

While the high court directed its vigilance cell to conduct an inquiry, Srivastava claims that he was not summoned by the cell to give his version. Nor did the vigilance cell summon the complainant, Raj Kumar, who, Srivastava says, does not even exist. Even The Telegraph failed to trace the complainant on Saturday though as many as seven Raj Kumars were found in Hirapur, a residential area. Nor did the telephone directory help.

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