Staff Reporter

Petition seeks recusal of judge from hearing the matter

NEW DELHI: A Division Bench of the Delhi high Court comprising Justice Manmohan Sarin and Justice Sudershan Kumar Misra gave a split verdict on Thursday on a petition by senior advocate R. K. Anand seeking recusal of Mr. Justice Sarin from hearing a contempt of court case against him and three other lawyers.

Sting operation

The contempt case has arisen out of a sting operation purportedly showing Mr. Anand and the other lawyers trying to suborn a key prosecution witness in the BMW hit-and-run case here of 1999.

While Mr. Justice Sarin dismissed the petition, Mr. Justice Misra expressed his inclination not to hear the case further.

Mr. Anand had sought recusal of Mr. Justice Sarin on the ground that he would not get justice.

Counsel for Mr. Anand submitted that Mr. Justice Sarin in 1988, when he was an advocate and vice-president of the Delhi High Court Bar Association, had opposed his candidature for appointment as a judge of the High Court by getting a resolution passed against him in the Bar.

Counsel for Mr. Anand also alleged that Mr. Justice Sarin and his client had used abusive language against each other.

Mr. Justice Misra in his one-page judgment said he was unable to concur with Mr. Justice Sarin.

The Bench later directed the High Court Registry to list the matter on October 11 for directions.

The Bench in August this year held R. K. Anand, I. U. Khan, the Special Public Prosecutor in the hit-and-run case, and two other lawyers prima facie guilty of trying to interfere with the judicial proceedings.

The Court had on May 30 taken suo motu cognisance of the sting operation.

Proceedings

“We are prima facie satisfied that you -- R. K. Anand, I. U. Khan, Sri Bhagwan Sharma and Lovely -- have wilfully and deliberately tried to interfere with the due course of judicial proceedings and administration of justice by the courts and your acts and conduct were intended to subvert the administration of justice in the pending trial and, in particular, influence the outcome of the ongoing proceedings,” the Bench had said in its August order.

Mr. Anand had later sought recusal of Mr. Justice Sarin from hearing the matter.

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