Staff Reporter

BANGALORE: The Karnataka High Court on Monday came down heavily on two Oath Commissioners (notaries) for signing petitioners without properly identifying them.

A Division Bench comprising Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice A.N. Venugopala Gowda regretted that the Oath Commissioners had brought a bad name to the legal fraternity by their cavalier attitude.

The court said it was surprising that the Oath Commissioners had identified the petitioners in two Habeas Corpus petitions without verifying their antecedents. It said such carelessness helped people file silly and frivolous petitions.

In this case, two Habeas Corpus petitions came to be filed. In the first petition, Selvi Muniyappa had sought for a direction to the Vidyaranyapura police to produce her husband, Muniyappa, who is presumed missing.

The Vidyaranyapura police had produced Selvi before the High Court. Selvi claimed that although her husband was missing, she had not filed any petition or police complaint.

Another woman, claiming to be Muniyappa’s second wife, denied filing any complaint or petition.

The Bench had sought to know how the petition could be filed in the absence of two wives. It sought to know how the Oath Commissioner could have identified the woman who filed the petition as Selvi.

The Bench said the whole case appeared to be mysterious and directed the registrar, High Court Vigilance and Commissioner of Police, Bangalore, to investigate and file a report.

The Bench passed a similar order when another Habeas Corpus petition came up for hearing. In this case, Prakash claimed that his brother Nanjunda was arrested by the Dabbspet police on May 30 and he was missing sine then.

The Commissioner of Police and the registrar, High Court Vigilance, filed reports before the court in a sealed cover.

The reports were taken on record and the police were directed to trace the missing persons.

The Bench directed the Oath Commissioners to refrain from carrying on work till further orders and adjourned hearing of the case.