New Delhi, May 10: The Supreme Court today pulled up a lower court judge for interfering with an order it had passed and warned of weeding out corrupt judges in a sweeping lash that didnt spare even lawyers.
The court said a section of the subordinate judiciary was passing orders on extraneous grounds and should be thrown out for bringing a bad name to the whole institution.
The withering rap comes at a time allegations of corruption have been levelled at the judiciary, something the bench also referred to as it hauled up the lower court judge and even threatened her with jail at one point.
The bench was ruling on a case involving a prime commercial property in Connaught Place in the heart of Delhi. In an order on October 6, 2010, the top court had directed the tenants, M/s Udham Singh Jain Charitable Trust, to move out within six months. But on April 23, additional district judge Archana Sinha stayed the warrants of possession, which effectively overruled the top courts order.
A bench of Justices Markandey Katju and Gyan Sudha Misra said Sinha had no business to pass such an order. It seems to us that in this country certain members of the subordinate courts do not even care for orders of this court, the judges said.
When this court passed an order granting six months time to vacate (the property), the contemnor Archana Sinha, additional district judge, had no business to pass the order dated 23rd April, 2011, the bench said. Instead she has stayed the warrants of possession, meaning thereby that she has practically superseded our order and overruled us.
After pulling up Sinha, the bench directed the chief justice of Delhi High Court to probe the matter and take whatever action was required. Sinha, who was present in court, left in tears.
The top court quashed the order she had passed as totally void and ordered the tenants to vacate the premises within an hour or go to jail. At one point, the court also threatened to send Sinha to jail if the tenants didnt move out within an hour.
The apex court said a certain section of the subordinate judiciary was bringing the whole judiciary into disrepute by passing orders on extraneous considerations. Such subordinate judiciary judges are bringing a bad name to the whole institution and must be thrown out of the judiciary.
Justice Katju said the conduct of the subordinate courts was shaming the judiciary. We are told that 80 per cent or 90 per cent of the judges are corrupt, he said. These kinds of malpractices should be weeded out and those who are incorrigible should be thrown out.
The court said it was deeply regrettable that litigation between landlords and tenants were often fought up to the stage of the Supreme Court. When the tenant loses in this court, he starts a second innings through another round of litigation, the bench added, asserting that such malpractices must be stopped.
The court also pulled up senior lawyers who appeared for the tenant for not performing their duties as officers of the court and giving correct advice to their client. Some of the learned counsel are hand in glove in such activities, the bench said.