Subordinate court judges who indulge in corruption should be “thrown out”, an irate Supreme Court said Tuesday while criticising a woman additional district judge who superseded an apex court order directing a tenant to vacate premises. It also directed the Delhi High Court to take disciplinary action against her.
The apex court bench of Justice Markandey Katju and Justice Gyan Sudha Misra took umbrage to Additional District Judge Archana Sinha passing an order that frustrated the apex court’s Oct 6, 2010 order directing the vacation of a premises in Connaught Place in the capital.
“It seems to us that in this country certain members of the subordinate courts do not even care for orders of this court,” the court observed.
It continued: “When this court passed an order dated Oct 6, 2010 granting six months’ time to vacate, the contemnor Archana Sinha, Additional District Judge, had no business to pass the order dated April 23, 2011. She has stayed the warrants of possession, meaning thereby that she has practically superseded our order and overruled us.”
The Supreme Court also directed the chief justice of the Delhi High Court to probe into the matter and “take such disciplinary action against Archana Sinha, as the high court deems fit”.
The court also quashed the order passed by her. “In this case, the contemnor Archana Sinha had no business to pass the order dated April 23, 2011 and it is hereby quashed as totally void.”
The apex court said a large section of the subordinate judiciary was engaging in activities that were bringing a bad name and disrepute to the entire judiciary.
Giving vent to its concern over the conduct of Sinha, the court said: “We are constrained to say that a certain section of the subordinate judiciary in this country is bringing the whole judiciary of India into disrepute by passing orders on extraneous considerations.”
It said: “We do not wish to comment on the various allegations which are often made to us about what certain members of the subordinate judiciary are doing, but we do want to say that these kind of malpractices have to be totally weeded out.
“Such subordinate judiciary judges are bringing a bad name to the whole institution and must be thrown out of the judiciary,” the order said.
Justice Katju said that they feel embarrassed over the conduct of the subordinate judiciary “when we are told that 80 percent or 90 percent of them are corrupt. The kind of things we get to hear we can’t even repeat in the court”.
He said that “these kind of malpractices should be weeded out and those who are incorrigible should be thrown out”.
In this case, the tenant M/s Udham Singh Jain Charitable Trust had to vacate the premises in Connaught Place within six months from the date of dismissal of the petition.
The court said: “It is deeply regrettable that in our country often litigations between the landlord and tenant are fought up to the stage of the Supreme Court and when the tenant loses in this court then he starts a second innings” through another round of litigation. The court said that this malpractice must now be stopped effectively,
The court also pulled up the senior counsel who appeared for the tenant, who was supposed to vacate the premises, for not performing their duties as officers of the court and tendering correct advice to their client to obey the court’s order. The court said that “some of the learned counsel are hand in glove in such activities”.