"A Judge Is An Easy Target": Allahabad HC Rejects Transfer Application Alleging Judicial Bias, Imposes ₹10k Cost
The Allahabad High Court while dismissing a transfer application moved by the applicant seeking transfer of an appeal pending in the Court of Additional District Judge, Firozabad to any other Court of competent jurisdiction within the same Judgeship stated that the citizens think that a Judge is an easy target and that they can malign the Judges' reputation.
A Single Bench of Justice J.J. Munir held –
"There is not the slightest tangible evidence or material to support the allegation under consideration, which has, of late, become almost a patent and routine allegation that any litigant may come up with against a Judge in the subordinate Courts whom he does not wish to decide his case, or otherwise, delay proceedings, or for some other tactical reason. In fact, the allegation is so preposterous that it is only stated to be rejected. The other facet of the matter is that making of such unscrupulous and irresponsible allegations by a litigant is the reflection of a bigger trend in society, where the citizens from all walks of life have developed an outlook, where they think that a Judge is an easy target, and that they can malign the Judges' reputation, alleging anything against them, particularly, the Presiding Officers in subordinate Courts."
The Bench further stated that such a tendency is reflected in the complaints galore on the administrative side of the High Court and in transfer applications brought on the most irresponsible allegations, derided of any substance or material.
In this case, the applicant was one of the plaintiffs and had moved a temporary injunction application in a suit and the same got rejected. The applicant feared that the case would be decided against him because the defendants colluded with the Presiding Officer. He had approached the District Judge, Firozabad seeking transfer of the appeal to any other Court. The District Judge rejected the transfer application on the ground that the allegations were augmentative and the same was made with the object to delay the proceedings. Hence, the applicant moved such a transfer application under Section 24 of the Code of Civil Procedure.
The counsel for the applicant urged that the applicant had seen the defendant emerge from the Presiding Officer's chamber, a fact that shakes a litigant's faith in the fairness of the justice dispensation system.
The High Court after considering the submissions advanced by the counsel for the applicant observed, "The impact of such transfer applications, if entertained and the Presiding Officer asked to put in his comments, will demoralize the subordinate judiciary. The society, in general, is always conscious of keeping up the morale of the Armed Forces and the Police, but think small of the Judges, from whom they expect justice. This cannot be permitted to happen. The litigants, who indulge in these kind of misadventures, have to be discouraged with a heavy hand. The system of justice works on the edifice of fearlessness in the hearts of those, who man it-whether they be the Judges or the lawyers. If allegations of this kind are entertained by a Superior Court against member of the Subordinate Judiciary, from unscrupulous litigants, it is impossible to expect delivery of justice from a demoralized judiciary, living in perpetual fear. Every litigant, whose case is called on for hearing, expects an order in his favour. However, if the Court passes an adverse order, the litigant has no right to malign the Judge with irresponsible and frivolous allegations."
The Court also noted that such a transfer application is reflective of a tendency amongst the litigants that needs to be curbed and that the applicant should be saddled with appropriate costs.
Therefore, the Court directed, "In the circumstances, this Transfer Application is dismissed with costs of Rs.10,000/- recoverable from the applicant. The applicant is ordered to deposit Rs. 10,000/- in costs with the Secretary, District Legal Services Authority, Firozabad within fifteen days of date. In the event, costs are not deposited by the applicant with the Secretary, District Legal Services Authority, Firozabad, through a crossed bank instrument payable in the account, the costs shall be recovered by the District Magistrate, Firozabad from the applicant at the expiration of the said period as arrears of land revenue."
Accordingly, the Court dismissed the transfer application with the costs.
Cause Title – Hari Singh v. Shyam Bihari And 20 Others