23 August 1996
Supreme Court


Case number: C.A. No.-010905-010905 / 1996
Diary number: 78792 / 1996
Advocates: ABHA R. SHARMA Vs






DATE OF JUDGMENT:       23/08/1996


CITATION:  JT 1996 (7)   442        1996 SCALE  (6)144



JUDGMENT:                       J U D G M E N T PARIPOORNAN. J.      Special leave granted. 2.   The appellant  is a  District and Sessions Judge, Patna with effect  from 22.9.1988. Along with others, his name was also considered  for extension of service beyond 58 years of age. The  Evaluation Committee  of the  High Court  of Patna held a  meeting on  29.6.1995. Thereafter,  the  matter  was considered by  the Full  Court  (High  Court  of  Patna)  on 22.7.1995. The  Full Court  decided not to give extension to the appellant  beyond the  age of 58 years. Aggrieved by the same, the  appellant filed  C.W.J.C. No. 7401/95 in the High Court. By  judgment dated  14.2.1996, a learned single Judge disposed of  the writ petition with the observation that the appellant may  make a  representation-  before  the  Hon’ble Chief Justice  of the  High Court with a prayer to place his case before  the Full  Court  for  reconsideration.  As  per orders of  the learned  Chief Justice  on the administrative side dated  1.3.1996, the  Registrar General,  High Court of Patna, filed  Letters Patent Appeal (LPA) No. 298/96 against the decision of the learned single Judge dated 14.2.1996. As per the  orders of  the Chief  Justice dated  15.3.1996, the matter was posted before the Division Bench presided over by Mr. Justice  N. Pandey.  Objection seems  to have been taken that the  LPA  was  not  maintainable.  The  Division  Bench consisting of  Mr. Justice  N. Pandey  and Mr.  Justice I.P. Singh passed  an order  dated  27.3.1996  stating  that  the maintainability of  the appeal  shall be  considered at  the time of  admission. From  1.4.1996 there was a change in the constitution of the Division Benches. On 4.4.1996, the Chief Justice ordered  that the  matter may  be placed  before the Bench dealing  with the  LPA  matters.  At  that  time,  Mr. Justice S.N.  Jha was  presiding  over  the  Division  Bench dealing with  the LPA  matters. On  5.4.1996,  the  Division Bench presided over by Mr. Justice S.N. Jha admitted the LPA and stayed  the operation  of the  decision of  the  learned



single Judge  dated 14.2 1996. The hearing was fixed to take place on 3.7.1996. In the meanwhile, the appellant filed the Special Leave  Petition (SLP) before this Court on 1.5.1996, assailing the decision of the Division Bench dated 5.4.1996, admitting LPA No. 298/96 to file. 3.   In the  SLP filed  in this Court, the appellant alleged that the  LPA was  filed without the permission of the Chief Justice of  the High Court of Patna, that the then Registrar General and  certain other  officers of  the Registry of the High Court  were inimically  disposed towards him, and it is based on  the misrepresentation  contained in  the notes  of Registrar  (Inspection)   dated   4.4.1996,   an   erroneous impression was given to the Chief Justice that the appellant filed the  LPA against  the decision  of the  learned single Judge, certain  directions were  given by  the learned Chief Justice which  has resulted in manifest injustice to him. In view of the above averments, a Bench of this Court, by order dated 9.7.1996 issued notice to the Registrar General, High Court of  Patna, and  directed that the entire papers may be placed before  this Court  for perusal  at the  next date of hearing. Accordingly,  the matter  came up before this Court on 12.8.1996. 4.   We heard counsel. At the time of hearing of the appeal, it is  common ground that the judgment passed by the learned single Judge dated 14.2.1996 in C.W.J.C. No. 7401/95 was set aside by a Division Bench and the writ petition filed by the appellant stood  dismissed. The  judgment  of  the  Division Bench is dated 7th of August, 1996. 5.   The Registrar General of the Patna High Court has filed a detailed counter-affidavit dated 9.8.1996 enclosing a copy of the judgment passed by the Division Bench dated 7.8.1996. In  particular,  it  was  urged  that  the  SLP  has  become infructuous in  view of  the subsequent  events In our view, the submission is justified in law. All that was attacked in the SLP  was the  order of the Division Bench dated 5.4.1996 admitting the  LPA. The  final order  passed by the Division Bench dated   7.8.1986  is not  challenged. The  appeal  was admitted, the  matter was  heard and final decision has also been rendered.  In such  circumstances, we  are of  the view that the  proceeding initiated-as  per SLP  No. 11276/96 has become infructuous. On this short ground this  appeal should be dismissed. We hereby do so. 6. Before  closing, one  aspect very vehemently contended in the SLP,  which had  resulted in  the  issue  of  notice  to Registrar General  of the  High Court  and to  call for  the files, deserves to be considered. The complaint was that the LPA was  filed in  the  High  Court  without  obtaining  the directions  of   the  learned  Chief  Justice.  The  further complaint was  that an erroneous impression was given to the learned Chief  Justice that  the appellant had filed the LPA against the  decision of  the learned  single Judge and that erroneous impression  has  resulted  in  the  learned  Chief Justice giving  certain directions  in the  matter.  Certain vague and  wild allegations  have been made against the then Registrar General  and other officers of the Registry to the effect that  the said  officers  misled  the  learned  Chief Justice to  further their  selfish  ends  and  to  harm  the appellant. 7.   The Registrar  General in  the counter-affidavit  dated 9.8.1996 has  denied the  above allegations.  The context in which a  wrong noting  was made  by  Registrar  (Inspection) dated 4.4.96  has also been explained. The entire files were placed before  us. We  perused the  entire files.  It is has been that  the learned Chief Justice, High Court of Patna by order dated  1.3.1996 directed  to take steps to file an LPA



against the judgment of the learned single Judge rendered in C.W.J.C. No.  7401/95. It was thereafter the LPA was  filed. The draft  of the  LPA was also perused by the learned Chief Justice.  Thereafter,   Shri   Mudrika   Prasad,   Registrar (Inspection) sought  necessary orders  for  posting  of  the appeal. By  order dated 15.3.1996, the learned Chief Justice directed the posting of the appeal before the Division Bench presided over by Justice Sri Pandey. When the matter came up before the  said Bench  on 27.3.1996,  it was  held that the objection regarding  the maintainability of the LPA shall be considered at the time of admission. Prom 1.4.1956 there was a change  in the  constitution of the different Benches. The Division Bench  presided over  by Mr.  Justice S.N.  Jha was dealing with  the LPA  matters.  Registrar  (Inspection)  by office note  dated 4.4.1996  sought  instructions  from  the learned Chief  Justice regarding  the posting of the appeal. In that  note, it has been inadvertently stated that LPA No. 298/96 was  filed before  the High  Court of  Patna  by  the appellant. The  learned Chief  Justice by  his  order  dated 4.4,1996 directed the posting of the appeal before the Bench presided over  by Mr.  Justice S.N.  Jha. Subsequently,  the said Bench  heard the  matter and rendered its decision on 7 .8.1996 whereby the judgment of the learned single Judge was set aside. 8.   A perusal  of the  files make two aspects clear. (i) As early as 1.3 1996 the learned thief justice has directed the Registry to  file an  LPA through  the Registrar against the judgment of  the learned  single Judge  rendered in C.W.J.C. No.7401/95, and  (ii) it  was thereafter  on  4.4.1996,  the Registrar (Inspection), by office note dated 4.4.1995 sought direction of the learned Chief Justice regarding the posting of the  case. The  Chief Justice was aware at that time that LPA No. 298/96 was filed against the judgment of the learned single Judge  as per  his orders  and that  earlier  he  had directed the  posting of  the case before the Division Bench presided over  by Mr.  Justice Pandey, and further direction was sought since the constitution of the Benches had changed with effect from 1.4.1996. It was in such circumstances, the learned Chief  Justice by  order dated  4.4.1996 ordered the posting of  the matter  before the  Division Bench which was dealing with  the LPA  matters. The  said Bench was presided over by Mr. Justice S.N. Jha. 9.   The above  two aspects make it abundantly clear that it was the  learned Chief  Justice, Patna  High Court  who  had himself directed  the  filing  of  the  LPA  and  the  later inadvertent   and   mistaken   noting   of   the   Registrar (Inspection) dated  4.4.1996 had  nothing  to  do  with  the direction of  the Chief  Justice dated  4.4.1996 posting the case before the Bench presided over by Mr. Justice S.N. Jha. In view of the above, we have no hesitation to hold that the appeal was  filed only after obtaining the directions of the learned Chief  justice, that  the noting  made by  Registrar (Inspection) dated  4.4.1996 had only sought for a direction regarding the  subsequent posting  of  the  appeal  and  the noting had  nothing to  do regarding  the directions  to  be given for the posting of the case before any Bench. 10.  Considered in  the light  of the  above facts.  we  are satisfied that  the various  allegations  made  in  the  SLP regarding the  then Registrar  General and also the officers of  the   Registry  of  Patna  High  Court,  are  absolutely unwarranted and  unjustified. We hold that the filing of the appeal, the  hearing of  the same  from time  to time by the different  Division  Benches  of  the  High  Court  and  the disposal thereof had been done in the normal and routine way and they are not open to any attack as stated in the SLP.



11.  Along with  the SLP,  the appellant has filed a copy of the office  note submitted  by Registrar  (Inspection) dated 4.4.1996 before  the learned Chief Justice for consideration of the Chief Justice. In the affidavit of urgency (available at pages  52 to 55) filed by Sri Rajendra Kumar Jain, son of the appellant,  the said  office note (available at pages 54 and  55   of  the  paper  book),  has  been  reproduced.  We questioned counsel for the appellant as to how the appellant was able  to  produce  a  copy  of  the  office  note  dated 4.4.1996. The appellant having produced the said document, a duty is  cast on  him to  explain the  source from  which he obtained the  said copy  and in  what circumstances he could obtain the  same. This  is all  the more so, since reference has been made in the affidavit of urgency dated 14.6.1996 to the said  document. Counsel  for the  appellant declined  to disclose the  source from  where he  obtained a  copy of the said document.  On the other hand, he vehemently stated that this Court  should call upon the Registrar of the Patna High Court to explain and it is no part of his duty tc explain as to how he obtained a copy of the document. To say the least, we are  surprised at the attitude of the appellant’s counsel in totally  refusing to  disclose the  source from which the appellant obtained  a copy  of the document. In our opinion, the appellant  and his  counsel owe  a duty to this Court to disclose the  source or  circumstances under  which the said document dated  4.4.1996 was obtained. We express our strong displeasure at the attitude of the appellant and his counsel in totally  refusing to  disclose to the Court the manner in which a  document filed  in  Court  was  obtained.  For  the present, we  do not  want to  say anything  further in  this matter, but  we want  to make  it clear  that  the  attitude adopted is  totally reprehensible and cannot be countenanced by a Court of law.      We dismiss  the appeal.  There shall  be no order as to costs.