New Delhi: The Supreme Court has said that the judges have to follow discipline and ought not to take up any case unless specifically assigned by the Chief Justice. The top court observed that taking up a case not specifically assigned by the chief justice was an “act of gross impropriety” and wondered how a civil writ petition for clubbing FIRs could be entertained. The SC made the observations while hearing an appeal challenging an order passed by the Rajasthan High Court.
A bench of justices Abhay S Oka and Pankaj Mithal was hearing the order of the Rajasthan High Court passed in May which had directed that no coercive steps shall be taken against three persons in connection with eight FIRs.
The bench said that the three persons had first approached the high court seeking to quash the FIR, however, they did not get an interim relief. It noted thereafter, they filed a separate writ petition on the civil side for clubbing the eight FIRs and consolidating them into one.
Appellant Ambalal Parihar, at whose instance six FIRs were registered against the three persons, claimed before the apex court that the method of filing a civil writ petition was invented and it was done to avoid the roster judge who had not granted interim relief.
“This is a classic case of forum hunting by the second to fourth respondents. Thus, this is a case of gross abuse of process of law,” the bench observed. It noted that in the roster notified by the chief justice, there was a separate roster for criminal writ petitions.
SC makes sharp observations
The bench said that if the courts are allow “such sharp practices”, the roster notified by the chief justice “will have no meaning”.
“The judges have to follow discipline and ought not to take up any case unless it is specifically assigned by the chief justice,” the bench said in its October 16 verdict. It added that a judge can take up a case provided either the cases of that category have been assigned to him as per the notified roster or the particular case was specifically assigned by the chief justice.
“Though a civil writ petition was filed, the judge ought to have converted into a criminal writ petition which could have been placed only before the roster judge taking up criminal writ petitions,” the top court said.
The bench said it was sure that this conduct of the three litigants will be considered by the concerned court taking up petitions under section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) seeking quashing of the FIRs.
“We direct the registrar (judicial) of the Rajasthan High Court to place a copy of this order in all eight petitions under section 482 of CrPC filed by the second to fourth respondents for quashing First Information Reports,” it said.
(With PTI inputs)