A Division Bench of the Kerala High Court on Monday adjourned to April 1 the hearing on an appeal filed by the State government seeking to expunge the adverse remarks passed about the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) by a single judge while ordering a CBI probe in the land grab cases allegedly involving Salim Raj, suspended gunman of Oommen Chandy.

The hearing was adjourned by the Bench comprising Justice K.M. Joseph and Justice A.K. Jayasankaran Nambiar.

The appeal was filed by the State government, represented by the Secretary, Home Affairs.

When the petition was taken up for hearing, Advocate General K.P. Dandapani submitted that the single judge had made the observations despite the fact that the State government had submitted that it had no objection to the cases being transferred to the CBI.

Adverse observations

A statement to the effect was filed by the government before the court. The government wanted the adverse observations expunged.

The appeal said that the observations made by Justice Harun-Ul-Rashid were uncalled for and they were made unilaterally by the judge on the basis of “his personal philosophies and perceptions.”

The single judge had “gone out of bounds in making such scathing observations, that too, general and sweeping in nature against the Chief Minister of the State and his office, which is totally against settled legal principles in this regard.”

The “disparaging remarks” by the single judge were totally “unmerited, uncharitable and irrelevant” as much as they were made without giving an opportunity to the Chief Minister for “explaining or defending” and without considering whether there was any evidence on record justifying the remarks and whether they were absolutely necessary for deciding the case.

The appeal said that the remarks would cast serious aspersions on the Chief Minster and his reputation and career. “Condemnation of the Chief Minister without affording an opportunity of being heard is nothing but complete negation of the basic principles of natural justice.”

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