Judge displeased with the way in which the Special Court in Bangalore dealt with his observations

The Madras High Court has expressed its displeasure over the way in which its observations had been dealt with by the Special Court in Bangalore, handling the “disproportionate wealth case” against Chief Minister Jayalalithaa in a matter relating to lifting the attachment of a property of a third party in the case.

The Special Court in Bangalore was not subordinate to the Madras High Court. It was not bound by the observation made by the High Court. But at the same time, the High Court’s order would certainly have persuasive value before the Special Court since the petition had been filed only pursuant to the High Court order. The same had been transmitted to the Special Court. Therefore, that court could not ignore the Madras High Court’s observation. “Judicial discipline and decorum requires that a subordinate court, whether subordinate to the particular High Court or not, if there is any observation made by such High Court should be considered while decision making.”

Justice A. Arumughaswamy said this while disposing of a petition by Lex Properties Developers (P) Ltd., Chennai. The petitioner was a third party in the disproportionate wealth case.

Originally, on a petition filed by the company, the High Court here on December 14, 2011 directed the Chief Judge of Small Causes Court, Chennai, to transfer the records and applications to the Special Court at Bangalore. The company filed an application there to raise the attachment at the first instance, pending hearing of final arguments in the wealth case. The court dismissed the petition with costs of Rs.10,000.

Aggrieved, the company filed the present application for clarification saying that the Madras High Court in its December 2011 order had mentioned twice that the petition to lift the attachment had to be disposed of by the Special Court at the first instance.

Mr. Justice Arumughaswamy said that in his earlier order in more than one place, he had observed that the petitioner could make an application before the Special Court for raising the attachment.

If any such petition was filed, the Special Court should dispose it of first before taking the main case towards finality. But, the Special Court was not inclined to consider the request to dispose of the petition for raising the attachment at the first instance. So, it dismissed the petition.

Mr.Justice Arumughaswamy said if the petitioner was aggrieved by the Special Court’s order, it should work out its remedy before the Karnataka High Court. “I only go on record to my displeasure over the way in which the observations made by this court have been dealt with by the Special Court,” he said.

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