Gopinath Munde, senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader, on Wednesday strongly opposed NCP supremo Sharad Pawar’s plea to transfer the matter challenging his election to the presidential position in Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA), to another judge. Mr Munde expressed apprehension that if such transfer applications are allowed, they may set a wrong precedent wherein “political heavyweight aggrieved parties would be entitled to go forum-hunting.”
“Mere presumption or possible apprehension would not and should not be the basis of transferring the case from one Court to another,” the affidavit filed by Mr Munde on Wednesday in response to the transfer plea made by Mr Pawar, stated.
Mr Munde has alleged in his affidavit, that Mr Pawar’s application was nothing but a delay tactic to hinder the expeditious hearing of the crucial matter. He appealed that the application should be dismissed with costs.
“I say and submit that mere sentimentality to hold that the defendant no. 7 (Mr Pawar) should be given an opportunity to try his luck in another Court, on the ground that he might find some difficulty in persuading the present Judge hearing the Suit, that his previous decision was wrong, would be a travesty of justice and the misuse of provision of Section 24 Code of Civil Procedure,” the affidavit stated.
It further pointed out that Mr Pawar had failed to give any reasonable grounds for the transfer plea. “Transfer of case from one Court to another is a serious matter, because it indirectly casts doubt on the integrity or competence of the Judge from whom the matter is transferred. In the present Application, no good and sufficient reasons for transferring the case have been clearly set out. A mere baseless and empty apprehension of the Defendant No.7 that he will not get “justice”, does not justify transfer,” the affidavit said.
Mr Pawar had moved a transfer application against the trial judge who had, in his previous order, barred Mr Pawar from fulfilling any responsibilities as the president of MCA till the matter was heard. Mr Pawar had appealed against the decision in the Bombay High Court, and had secured interim relief when the court had set aside the lower court’s order. But the Bombay High Court had refused to entertain Mr Pawar’s plea of transferring the matter to another judge.
A few days after that, he moved a transfer application before the Principal Judge of the City Civil and Sessions Court. Mr Munde was directed by the court to file a reply on the same.
The Principal Judge will hear now the arguments by both the sides on January 31.