A single judge in the Madras High Court bench here has reprimanded a religious trust and imposed a cost of Rs. 10,000 for levelling ‘unfounded allegations’ against a judicial officer of a lower court.
Dismissing two petitions filed by G. Venkatachalapathy, the secretary of Sathu Dharmananda Saraswathi Swamigal Trust in Dindgul, Justice N. Kirubakaran held that no person can be allowed to ‘throw mud on the lower court judicial officers for their own cause.’
Mr. Venkatachalapathy had moved the High Court to transfer two cases, on the trust’s right to organise Thai Poosam festival at a private property in dispute, from the Principal District Court, Dindigul, to the district courts in Coimbatore or Karur with allegations that the Principal District Judge pressurised his counsel to argue the case and dispose it without giving them adjournment to submit their counter affidavits.
The petitioner alleged that the lower court indirectly acted in favour of Sree Shanmuga Seva Sangam Nattar Trust whose henchmen also threatened the petitioner in the lower court complex.
Following arguments of the counsel representing the Trust and after perusing the records of the lower court, Justice Kirubakaran noted that the Trust secretary sought for earlier disposal of the case in view of the fact that Thai Poosam festival fell on January 17.
Besides, the petitioner was instructed to submit his counter on January 2, 2014, but instead of submitting his counter, the petitioner sought for adjournment, the judge pointed out.
“It is very unfortunate to note nowadays that unfounded allegations are sought to be made against the lower court Judicial Officers, if the learned Judicial Officers insist for early hearing and disposal of the cases. This is a classic case in which the matter is sought to be protracted for ulterior motive putting the blame on the court,” the judge also observed in his order.
“This sort of practise, where law is abused, should be curtailed otherwise it will play havoc on justice delivery system. This issue has to be viewed seriously. Otherwise, the functioning of the lower court itself will be in jeopardy and no officer would be free to render justice according to law,” the judge said and directed the petitioner to pay Rs.10,000 to the Madras High Court Chief Justice Relief Fund.