The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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The Court: On a working day, i.e. 24th September, 2003 while I myself reportedly with many other Judges of this High Court including Hon’ble Chief Justice proceeding to the High Court they or any of them prevented and/or detained by the police authorities to allow a procession within the vicinity of the High Court and the commercial centre of the city of Calcutta. Those who are aware of the topography of the High Court at Calcutta, they will be able to understand how the other commercial and office areas of the city are intermingled with the High Court premises particularly in case of to and fro. I was anxiously waiting to go through it since valuable time of the Court getting wasted. One point of time, even people of the procession stopped for a short while to give passage for the vehicular movement. But visibly the police officer standing diagonally in front of Akash Bani Bhavan (All India Radio Office) forced the procession to go on without allowing the traffic. My personal security went to approach the officer to allow my car to go on which was not only refused but the personal security was also said to control the procession. I was waiting in the car without any security. In total this is a great humiliation to a High Court Judge at least according to me. Court does not mean mean Court room but movement of the Judge even outside at least when he is moving to discharge his official functions. However, after some time vehicular movement was allowed — while vehicles were moving slowly my personal security who was standing on the road in front of the procession entered into the car to take me to the Court. It was reported that the procession was conducted by a section of people with their traditional weapons. However, I found many persons walking to reach to their destinations with or without luggage. Further period was delayed in such way. Ultimately I was late in reaching the Court for the purpose of taking up the judicial business. When I occupied the judicial chair I found insufficient members of lawyers, staffs and litigants are present in the Court room. Upon enquiry I found that due to the disturbance caused in the adjacent area of the High Court this has happened. I waited in the Court room for a considerable period and thereafter I have called upon the Registrar General to verify the fact. In turn, he told that due to the abovementioned cause the business of the Court has been disrupted. The Judges felt aggrieved and visibly annoyed.

At this juncture I thought it fit that this is high time to issue a Suo Motu Rule of Contempt upon the appropriate police authorities to show cause. The situation was unique. Therefore, the order might have been seen to be unique. We, the member of the judiciary always try to maintain our own restraint unless and until we are compelled. Therefore, the question arises what are the compelling circumstances. If this is not the compelling circumstances, what else the compelling circumstances is unknown to me.

Every Judge is a citizen of the country but every citizen is not the Judge. A Judge has at least two compartments of mind. One is personal mind and another is Judge’s mind. Judge’s mind is based on reasons and applicable not only to the other’s cause but also to his own cause. The own cause does not mean any private cause — public cause. This is the source of suo motu power of contempt. This has only given to Judges of Supreme Court and High Courts because law makers thought it safe in their hands and will be utilized in proper time. Since such power is very high in nature and commendable, the same will be utilized sparingly. But there is no bar of utilization.

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