SC slams lower judiciary

Court drama: Subordinate judge admonished

A Bench of justices Markandey Katju and Gyan Sudha Mishra also came down heavily on senior advocates for advising their clients in a way to help them circumvent the orders passed by the apex court. “A large section of subordinate judiciary is bringing the whole judiciary to disrepute. We do not want such courts,” the court said.

“It is because of you that we have to face so much ignominy. We have to hang our heads in shame when people say that 80 or 70 per cent subordinate judiciary is corrupt,” Justice Katju said.

The Bench was livid with additional district judge Archana Sinha, who passed an order on April 23 virtually granting a stay on an eviction order passed by the apex court on October 6 last year against the tenant in a property case within six months.

“How did you dare to do that? The order of the Supreme Court has got no value. Are you playing a joke with the Supreme Court?,” the Bench said, hearing the contempt petition filed against her.

Sinha, who was present in the court following contempt notice on April 27, offered her unconditional apology.

“I have learnt a lesson. I passed the order with no mala fide intention. I am seeking your mercy,” she pleaded rushing towards the dais.

The court, which initially seemed inclined to leave her with a reprimand, took a stern view after senior advocate Dushyant Dave informed “this is a regular feature with her”.

The Bench referred her case to Chief Justice of Delhi High Court.

High drama

The proceedings in the case which started around 11 am witnessed high drama. At the outset, the Bench expressed annoyance after coming to know from senior advocates Abhishek Manu Singhvi and Mukul Rohtagi, appearing for tenant M/s Udham Singh Jain Charitable Trust, that they have still not vacated the premises at a prime location in the national capital. “It is 11:30 am. We are giving you one hour time. You go and vacate the premises, otherwise we will send all of you including this ADJ to jail,” Justice Katju said, adjourning the matter to 12:30 am. As the Bench resumed hearing at sharp 12:30, the counsel for owner M/s Atma Ram Builders Pvt Ltd told the court that they got possession of the property.

Afterwards, the Bench started grilling ADJ Sinha asking her as to how she passed an order staying the warrant of possession despite the apex court order on October 6, 2010.

“She had no business defying our order and she has become a super Supreme Court,” the court added.

Plea against gutka firm to be taken up

The Supreme Court on Tuesday decided to hear a petition seeking contempt proceedings against the manufacturer of ‘Rajnigandha’ brand of gutka for allegedly violating its order by selling their products in plastic sachet.  The petition, filed by Centre for Public Interest Litigation, sought initiation of contempt proceedings against Rajeev Kumar, Managing Director of DS Group — the makers of ‘Rajnigandha’ and ‘Tulsi’ — and Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Forests for “a serious and wilful violation of the order” passed on December 7, last year. “Products are easily available... with packaging date of March 2011 and April 2011,” the petition alleged. The court had banned plastic sachet packages for tobacco products since March 1.



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