MADURAI HC for inquiry into successive listing of bail petitions in violation of circular
MADURAI, NOVEMBER 30, 2020 21:31 IST
UPDATED: NOVEMBER 30, 2020 21:31 IST
Taking a serious view over listing of matters in violation of a High Court circular, the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court on Monday directed the Registrar General of the Madras High Court to conduct a detailed inquiry, including vigilance inquiry, regarding irregularities and illegalities committed by the Registry officials at the High Court Bench.
Justice S.M. Subramaniam observed that appropriate action should be initiated, including disciplinary proceedings, against the erring officials. The judge took cognisance of the fact that a petitioner had filed a bail petition within nine days of the first petition being dismissed. The successive bail petitions were listed before different judges.
It was found that no orders were obtained from the court concerned or the Chief Justice before the matter was listed before the other court. As per a High Court circular issued pursuant to a Supreme Court order, successive bail petitions filed should be posted before the same judge who refused the bail in the first instance, unless that judge is not available.
The petitions for cancellation of bail should also be posted before the same judge who granted bail in the first instance, unless that judge is not available. These instructions are to be followed scrupulously and any deviation in this regard will be viewed very seriously, as per the circular, the judge said.
“It is a surprise how the successive Bail Petitions are listed by taking unilateral decision by the Registry officials, more specifically, at their choice and at their whims and fancies. In exceptional circumstances, an order is to be obtained either from the Judge concerned or the Chief Justice, for listing the matters before the other Court”, the judge said.
Such an action of the High Court Registry is a clear interference with the prerogative powers of the Chief Justice, in the matter of allotment of Roster. There is every reason to believe that such listing of matters in violation of the Supreme Court order as well as the High Court Circular are done mostly on extraneous considerations.
The Registrar General of the Madras High Court is bound to act swiftly in order to prevent such illegal listing of cases. Bench-hunting and Forum shopping is criticised seriously by the Supreme Court and the High Court Registry cannot pave way for such illegal activities, the judge said.
The court was hearing a bail petition filed by R. Palanivelu of Pudukottai district, arrested and remanded in judicial custody in connection with a murder case. The petitioner’s first bail petition was dismissed on Novermber 10 and his second petition was filed on November 19, within nine days of the dismissal. The court dismissed the second bail petition.