Monday, February 17, 2014

Copy of the PIL regarding transfer of High Court Judge



In the Hon’ble High Court of Judicature at Allahabad, Lucknow Bench, Lucknow
Writ petition No- 735 of 2014 (PIL-Civil)
Asok Pande and another                                                          Petitioners
Versus
Allahabad High Court                                                                 Respondent

Index

S No
Description of documents relied upon

Page No


From
To
1.
List of Dates and Events (separate)
Separate

2.
Memo of Writ Petition


3.
Affidavit


4.
Photo Identity of the petitioner





          Lucknow                                                                     (Dr Nutan Thakur)
          Dated- 29/01/2014                                                Petitioner in Person
                                                                                                   # 94155-34525








In the Hon’ble High Court of Judicature at Allahabad, Lucknow Bench, Lucknow
Writ petition No- 735 of 2014 (PIL-Civil)
Asok Pande and another                                                          Petitioners
Versus
Allahabad High Court                                                                 Respondent

LIST OF DATES AND EVENTS

S No               Date                                                   Event                       
1.        22/01/2014                      Alleged misbehavior by Justice
                                                            Dr satish Chandra                                               
2.        28/01/2014                      Justice Dr Chandra transferred after
                                                            agitation of the Bar Association
The Chief Justice of this Hon’ble Court transferred Justice Dr Satish Chandra yesterday (28/01/2014) from the Lucknow Bench to the Allahabad bench because of an agitation led by the Oudh Bar Association. This sudden and abrupt transfer has extremely dangerous consequences on judiciary as explained in great details in the PIL. At the same time allegations of corruption, misbehavior and other serious misconduct against Judges and Magistrates right from subordinate Courts to this Hon’ble Court have become the order of the day today, some of which go reported while others go unreported because of a lack of appropriate mechanism. Judiciary exercises its influence solely on its moral values. If no appropriate measures are taken as regards grievances of the people against judiciary, it will erode people’s faith in judiciary to irreparable extent. Thus two things need to be done immediately- one to cancel the order directing Justice Dr Chandra from Lucknow to Allahabad and to conduct an open enquiry and take appropriate action in accordance with this enquiry report. Second, to immediately create a grievance redressal mechanism for open and transparent dealing all kinds of complaints of Judges and Magistrates right from subordinate Courts to this Hon’ble Court . This is a matter of great public importance and hence a PIL because right to unstilted, genuine and truthful justice is a fundamental right, and right to be heard is again a fundamental right and a basic principle of Natural justice. Extreme openness and transparency is needed in all activities related with judiciary and judicial functioning
Hence this Writ petition

Lucknow                                                                     (Dr Nutan Thakur)
Dated- 29/01/2014                                              Petitioner in Person
                                                                                                # 94155-34525
In the Hon’ble High Court of Judicature at Allahabad, Lucknow Bench, Lucknow
Writ petition No- 735 of 2014 (PIL-Civil)










1.     Asok Pande, aged about 50 years, son of Late Dayanand Pandey r/o 5/1243, Viram Khand, Gomti Nagar, Lucknow
2.     Dr Nutan Thakur, aged about 40 years, wife of Sri Amitabh Thakur r/o 5/426, Viram Khand, Gomti Nagar, Lucknow           ------   Petitioners
                                                                        Versus
Allahabad High Court through the Registrar General, Allahabad High Court, Allahabad-                                           Respondent

Writ Petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India
To,
The Hon’ble Chief Justice and His other Hon’ble companion Judges of the aforesaid Court:
The humble petition of the above named petitioners most respectfully begs to submit as under
1.     That by means of this petition being filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, the petitioners prays before this Hon’ble Court to issue a writ in the nature of certiorari cancelling the order of the Chief Justice of this Hon’ble Court whereby Justice Dr Satish Chandra has now been directed/instructed/ordered to sit in the Allahabad Bench instead of the Lucknow Bench he has so far been working. The petitioners also pray before this Hon’ble Court to issue a writ of mandamus directing the  Chief Justice to frame a transparent grievance redressal mechanism where every advocate, every litigant and every citizen can register his formal complaint against Judges of this Hon’ble Court or against Judges of any other subordinate Courts under the administrative jurisdiction of this Hon’ble Court, where each complaint is properly enquired, the enquiry report is made public to the extent permissible under the laws of the land and appropriate action taken accordingly.
The Petitioners declare that they have not filed any other writ petition before this High Court either at Allahabad or at Lucknow. The Petitioners also declares that they have not received any notice of Caveat from any person including the respondents by post or otherwise. They also declare that to the best of their knowledge and their search, there is no pronouncement as regards the above issues being presented through this Writ Petition either by the Hon’ble Supreme Court or this Hon’ble Court
2.     That this is a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) being filed for redeeming public’s faith in Judiciary in the state of Uttar Pradesh and also for ensuring that ensuring that extraneous reasons don’t become a reason for taking administrative actions against Judges, which will lead to disastrous consequences in the future, destroying the entire fabric of judiciary.
3.     That this being a PIL, in pursuance of Rule 1, subrule (3A) of Chapter XXII of the Allahabad High Court Rules 1952 the petitioner finds it relevant to present some facts regarding their own credibility. The petitioner No 1, Asok Pande is an advocate and social activist working primarily in the field of judicial reforms and Constitutional propriety. He has a strong faith in the importance of strong and independent judiciary for a better Nation and is working for it. Petitioner No 2, Dr Nutan Thakur is a well-known and nationally recognized social activist and freelance journalist who wants to genuinely and positively contribute to the society in all possible ways. She works primarily in the field of transparency and accountability in governance, Human Rights and assisting in the enforcement of Rule of law. The petitioners have filed a very large number of important PILs in this Hon’ble Court. They has also undertaken many other important public works and has been widely appreciated for their work at various quarters.  
The matter being presented here is primarily related with transparency and accountability in judicial governance and appropriate functioning/credibility of judiciary. 
In pursuance of the above Rule, the petitioners state on oath that the public cause they are seeking to espouse through this Writ Petition is as regards transparency and accountability in judicial governance and appropriate functioning/credibility of judiciary.  The petitioners again put it on oath that they are not filing this PIL nor have the petitioners filed any other PIL for any ulterior motive save the stated one nor have they received a single penny through any backdoor activity while filing these PILs. They state on oath that they has no personal or private interest in the matter and as far as they knows there is no authoritative pronouncement by the Hon’ble Supreme Court or this Hon’ble High Court on the specific questions raised here.  They put it on oath that the result of the Litigation will not lead to any undue gain to them or anyone associated with them or any undue loss to any person, body of persons or to the State but would result in better governance as they have no particular individual to promote nor are they personally against any of the named or unnamed individuals presented in the PIL. The petitioners are no aligned to Dr Satish Chandra in any manner, whatsoever, except having professional interaction in their work. The only concern of the petitioners is as regards the principles and public welfare and not as regards any of the named individuals.
4.     That coming to the subject matter of the PIL, a few days ago Justice Dr Satish Chandra allegedly misbehaved with a lawyer during a hearing on 22/01/2014. Following the incident, the Oudh Bar Association (OBA, for short) had allegedly passed a resolution against Justice Dr Chandra and had allegedly stated that lawyers will not resume judicial work till Justice Dr Chandra was transferred. As per the media reports and the personal experience of both the petitioners, most of the lawyers of the OBA abstained from work.
5.     That in short, for many days there was almost a complete boycott/strike of the lawyers at the Lucknow bench of this Hon’ble Court.
6.     That as per the media reports and the personal knowledge of the petitioners, the OBA called off their weeklong boycott of judicial work on 29/01/2014 (Wednesday) following the shifting of Justice Dr Chandra from Lucknow bench to Allahabad. Senior judge Justice Uma Nath Singh met the agitating lawyers on 28/01/2014 (Tuesday) and apprised them of the decision of the Chief Justice of this Hon’ble Court to shift Justice Dr Chandra from Lucknow after which this strike/boycott was called off.
7.     That this incidence has many facets attached to it.
8.     That the first one relates to the transfer order/direction itself.
9.     That the petitioners don’t personally know about the truth or otherwise of the incidence nor do they know what exactly happened and who is at fault to what extent in this alleged incidence. Since the petitioners do not have a first-hand information of the matter, hence it would not be appropriate for them to comment on the truth/veracity of the incidence, though they would say that their personal experience while appearing before Justice Dr Chandra has always been fine and they never had any unpleasant personal experience of any kind while they appeared before Justice Dr Chandra.
10.                       That but whatever the truth of the incidence, the fundamental question that is associated with this administrative act of the Chief Justice is whether it was an appropriate act or not
11.                       That if this transfer order/direction or order to sit in Allahabad Bench were made in routine course of affairs, it would not have raised any question because that is the sole prerogative of the Chief Justice
12.                       That but as is universally known and as stated by Justice Uma Nath Singh before hundreds of lawyers, this order for Justice Dr Chandra to sit in Allahabad Bench instead of Lucknow Bench was made solely to placate the advocates and was thus not a routine order but was an order in special circumstances, for very specific and oblique reasons
13.                       That this timing of the order is definitely under a huge question-mark and has raised many eyebrows as regards its property and appropriateness
14.                       That to the best of the petitioners’ understanding and knowledge, this act of transferring a Judge from one Bench to another because of an allegation of misbehavior followed by a strike/boycott is completely inappropriate and it does not augur well for the Judiciary.
15.                       That it is very apparent that if Judges are transferred from one Bench to another or from one place to another because of certain allegations, it will be the end of Judiciary.
16.                       That the work of Judiciary is such that it cannot please every person at a time. The Judge has to decide over matters where at least one party will probably always feel aggrieved, whether he says so or not. It is because no human being thinks he is incorrect and even if he has lost the case, he always goes on thinking that his points were not appreciated and his opponent won the case incorrectly. This is fundamental human nature and human weakness and cannot be changed even through the best of the mechanism.
17.                       That hence judiciary is not there to please people but to deliver justice.
18.                       That the role of a Judge is to conduct the business of the Court in the most efficient manner in the most suitable manner he feels.
19.                       That the conduct of the business of the Court and the delivery of justice is the sole prerogative of the concerned Judge.
20.                       That to assist the Judge in his special duties and considering the nature of his functioning, a special provision in the shape of Contempt of Courts has been evolved which has been given only to the Judges and not to anyone else. Thus even the President of India and the Prime Minister cannot initiate contempt proceedings while even a subordinate Munsiff court can initiate this.
21.                       That this contempt power includes criminal contempt as well which is all too well known to be explained in details.
22.                       That these powers have been bestowed to the Judiciary solely in consonance with their very special role and realizing the fact that the Judge is never in a please-all situation but has to do the unpalatable work all through.
23.                       That thus the matter is not about Justice Dr Chandra but is about the functioning of the entire judiciary because the abrupt and sudden transfer order has acquired many shades which no longer makes it a routine administrative order
24.                       That but this is one side of the story.
25.                       That the other side is that it is really sad but the fact remains that the Judiciary today is no longer what it used to be or what it was supposed to be.
26.                       That the allegations of sexual misbehavior against people of the stature of Supreme Court and retired Supreme Court Judges is possibly only the tip of the iceberg. Other allegations of corruption always come in light against Judges of all statures.
27.                       That the statement of eminent jurist and ex Law Minister Sri Shanti Bhushan in September 2010 quoted in a Times of India article Eight chief justices were corrupt: Ex-law minister by Sri Dhananjay Mahapatra on 17/09/2010 where he moved an application accusing eight former Chief Justices of India of "corruption, and dared the court to send him to jail for committing "contempt of court" and “"In fact, two former CJIs had personally told the applicant while they were in office that their immediate predecessor and immediate successor were corrupt judges. The names of these four CJIs are included in the list of corrupt CJIs” is all too well known where is asked to “make me a party along with Prashant Bhushan” and "The applicant will consider it a great honour to spend time in jail for making an effort to get for the people of India an honest and clean judiciary”.
28.                       That the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India through its judgement dated 26/10/2010 in Civil Appellate Jurisdiction in Special Leave Petition(Civil) NO. 31797 of 2010 Raza Khan  versus UP Sunni Central Waqf Board & another again made some contemptuous and damaging remarks about the state of affairs at the Hon’ble High Court of Allahabad saying- “"Something is rotten in the State of Denmark", said Shakespeare in Hamlet, and it can similarly be said that something is rotten in the Allahabad High Court, as this case illustrates.” It also says that- “The    Allahabad High Court really needs some house cleaning (both Allahabad and Lucknow Bench)”. It says- “We are sorry to say but a lot of complaints are coming against certain Judges of the Allahabad High Court relating to their integrity.  Some Judges have their kith and kin practising in the same Court, and within a few years of starting practice the sons or relations of the Judge become multi-millionaires, have huge bank balances, luxurious cars, huge houses and are enjoying a luxurious life. This is a far  cry from the  days when    the    sons and other relatives    of       Judges     could    derive      no    benefit    from    their relationship and had to struggle at the bar like any other lawyer.” It also says that- “ There are other serious complaints also against some Judges of the High Court.”
29.                       That if these kinds of allegations are coming against Supreme Court and High Court judges, one can think of the situation at the lower level in subordinate judiciary where, as per public perception and the petitioners’ own experience, the situation is very bad.
30.                       That in subordinate judiciary, the petitioners have experience that the Judges and Magistrates don’t often sit on dais. Many of them conduct all their official business through their chambers. They also don’t dictate the order in front of the two parties but often keep mum about the order of the day. The two petitioners have horrendous experience about some of these Judges and Magistrates where they stretched even a small application like registration of case under section 156(3) CrPC for months and where their cases are kept pending for all kinds of extraneous reasons.
31.                       That the petitioners also hear that money changes hands in corrupt manner in the lower courts to an extent that can be called horrible and shameless- completely disgusting. Most of the advocates say these words and many of the petitioners’ friends have given specific examples in this regards which they don’t find appropriate to mention here because it is a subject-matter of other specific complaints.
32.                       That it feels sad to state that even among the High Court Judges, the allegations of financial corruption is raised every now and then. The petitioner No 1 knows of at least two Judges whom the then Chief Justice of this Hon’ble Court stopped from so many routine works, solely on the basis of charges of serious corruption. It is again sad but true that charges of serious corruption were often raised against some other Judges of this Hon’ble Court whose names the petitioners don’t want to disclose in good taste and for decency
33.                       That the petitioners were also individually subjected to misbehavior by some of the Judges of this Hon’ble Court while the petitioner No 1 faced personal misbehavior at Hon’ble Gujarat High Court and even at Hon’ble Supreme Court regarding which the two petitioners sent complaints to various authorities on which no action has been taken so far.
34.                       That thus misbehavior, corruption and inappropriate actions have certainly come to occupy space in present day judicial working.
35.                       That thus the picture today is that on one hand there are vast powers and responsibilities to Judiciary and on the other it is also facing a crisis of credibility.
36.                       That thus as stated by various Chief Justices of India on various occasions, Judiciary needs introspection and also immediately needs to devise ways to overcome these burning challenges.
37.                       That but this does not mean that Judiciary shall buckle to extraneous pressure and take action against any of the Judges on public pressure.
38.                       That if Justice Dr Chandra was incorrect in his action and he actually misbehaved, the right course of action for the Chiefr Justice of this Hon’ble Court was to conduct and enquiry and to intimate the Chief Justice of India about this conduct and to request to initiate Impeachment proceeding against him under the provisions prescribed under the Constitution of India, as per the findings of this enquiry report.
39.                       That if Dr Chandra was actually guilty of any misconduct, misbehavior or improper behavior as alleged by the concerned advocate, there should have been a proper enquiry and action taken as per this enquiry.
40.                       That this enquiry should have been open and transparent and the enquiry report should have been made public.
41.                       That whatever action deemed to be taken as per the enquiry report should have been taken.
42.                       That but in this case, as per the petitioners’ knowledge, no such enquiry was conducted. Even if some enquiry was made it was discreet. One can easily understand that for Judges of the High Court, discreetness is not the usual requirement. As the saying goes Judges shall be like Caesar’s wife. Any kind of opaqueness, hiding and secrecy in the functioning of judiciary is going to completely ruin the institution of judiciary. Similarly any kind of buckling to extraneous pressures is bound to ruin the authority of judiciary to any extent.
43.                       That judiciary enjoys the confidence of people solely because of its transparency and openness and because of its inbuilt strength and regard for justice and adherence to it.
44.                       That thus any administrative act like directing a Judge to sit in Allahabad Bench instead of Lucknow Bench solely to placate a group of advocates or to buy peace is not at all proper
45.                       That such acts have been seen for long in the executive wing of governance where an officer is transferred from one place to another simply to make people happy or to diffuse a situation
46.                       That such acts can never be permitted in judiciary where mob decides which Judge will sit where.
47.                       That such acts will definitely and clearly lead to mobocracy where mob rules the roost and where numbers decide a matter.
48.                       That if such acts are permitted every third day one group of advocates or public might rise and start agitating against a Judge for any of the many reasons, may be Caste, creed, religion, region, language, gender or anything else
49.                       That if the Chief Justice of this Hon’ble Court starts catering to all such demands, the judiciary will be reduced to ashes and there will be nothing left
50.                       That hence this transfer made without any enquiry solely on the pressure of the mob and the extraneous acts is definitely incorrect and inappropriate
51.                       That this will augur an age where Judges shall be posted and placed on the will of the Bar Associations and/or other extraneous considerations
52.                       That as explained above, this is a truly dangerous situation and needs to be stopped immediately
53.                       That at the same time, as explained above, there is also the need for having an appropriate grievance redressal mechanism right from the subordinate courts to this Hon’ble Court where every individual- advocates, litigants or common people, have a right to register their complaints and to get heard as regards their complaints against Judges and magistrates of the Judiciary on every account- be in misbehavior, be it corrupt practice, be it sexual misconduct, be it improper remarks or anything else
54.                       That hence there is today the need for a grievance redressal mechanism regarding Judges where open enquiries are conducted and appropriate action taken in consonance with and as a result of this open and transparent enquiry
55.                       That this is a fundamental right of the people of this State because right to be heard is a fundamental right of each citizen of this Nation as enshrined in various Articles of the Constitution and as explained in details in many judgements by the Hon’ble Supreme Court and the various Hon’ble High Court
56.                       That this is also a fundamental right because right to fast, truthful, unbiased and genuine justice is again a fundamental right provided to each citizen of India, as enshrined in various Articles of the Constitution and as explained in details in many judgements by the Hon’ble Supreme Court and the various Hon’ble High Court
57.                       That the petitioners have come before this Hon’ble Court only to seek this fundamental right of being heard and of being provided truthful and unbiased judgement which can only happen when there is an appropriate grievance redressal mechanism regarding all Judges right from the subordinate Courts to this Hon’ble Court
58.                       That this fundamental right has long been denied to people of this state for long but the Justice Dr Chandra has brought it in focus once again and hence it would no longer be appropriate to hold this any further
59.                       That there can be no denial to the fact that unbiased justice is a fundamental right and that the matter concerns each and every citizen of this State and of this Nation and is hence clearly a matter of huge public importance
60.                       That the petitioner’s photograph and Identity proof have been enclosed along with
61.                       That having no any officious and effective alternative remedy in these circumstances, this writ petition is being filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India on the following amongst other grounds-

GROUNDS
(1)            Because the Chief Justice transferred Justice Dr Satish Chandra yesterday 28/01/2014 because of an agitation led by the Oudh Bar Association
(2)            Because this sudden and abrupt transfer has extremely dangerous consequences on judiciary as explained in great details in the PIL
(3)            Because this transfer order/direction is arbitrary and is not based on any rightful justification
(4)            Because this transfer order was issued without any transparent enquiry
(5)            Because such arbitrary transfer is not correct in the eyes of law and needs to be quashed
(6)            Because at the same time allegations of corruption, misbehavior and other serious misconduct against Judges and Magistrates right from subordinate Courts to this Hon’ble Court have become the order of the day today, some of which go reported while others go unreported because of a lack of appropriate mechanism
(7)            Because judiciary exercises its influence solely on its moral values
(8)            Because if no appropriate measures are taken as regards grievances of the people against judiciary, it will erode people’s faith in judiciary to irreparable extent
(9)            Because this is a matter of great public importance and hence a PIL
(10)      Because right to unstilted, genuine and truthful justice is a fundamental right
(11)      Because right to be heard is both a fundamental right and a basic principle of Natural justice
(12)      Because extreme openness and transparency is needed in all activities related with judiciary and judicial functioning

PRAYER
Wherefore, it is most respectfully prayed that this Hon’ble Court may be pleased to-
(a) kindly issue a writ of certiorari cancelling the order of the respondent, Chief Justice of this Hon’ble Court whereby Justice Dr Satish Chandra has now been directed/instructed/ordered to sit in the Allahabad Bench instead of the Lucknow Bench where he has so far been working;
(b)to kindly issue a writ of mandamus directing the  Chief Justice of this Hon’ble Court to take any action in this regards (if any) as per the provisions of law or to issue any order only after having conducted an open and transparent enquiry where both the parties are given a fair opportunity of being heard
(c) to kindly issue a writ of mandamus directing the  Chief Justice of this Hon’ble Court to frame a transparent grievance redressal mechanism where every advocate, every litigant and every citizen can register his formal complaint against Judges of this Hon’ble Court or against Judges or magistrates of any other subordinate Courts under the administrative jurisdiction of this Hon’ble Court, where each complaint is properly enquired, the enquiry report is made public to the extent permissible under the laws of the land and appropriate action taken accordingly
        

Lucknow                                                                            (Dr Nutan Thakur)
Dated- 29/01/2014                                                       Petitioner in Person
                                                                                                # 94155-34525











In the Hon’ble High Court of Judicature at Allahabad, Lucknow Bench, Lucknow
Writ petition No- 735 of 2014 (PIL-Civil)
Asok Pande and another                                                           Petitioners
Versus
Allahabad High Court                                                                Respondent







AFFIDAVIT
I, Dr Nutan Thakur, aged about 40 years, w/o Sri Amitabh Thakur, religion Hinduism, Education- P Hd, D Litt profession- social and political activist, r/o 5/426, Viram Khand, Gomti Nagar, Lucknow- the deponent, do hereby solemnly affirm and state on oath as under -
1.     That the deponent is the Petitioner No 2 in the above noted petition and as such she is fully conversant with the facts and circumstances of the case, deposed to hereunder. She presents this affidavit on behalf of petitioner No 1, Sri Asok Pande, as well.
2.     That the contents of the paragraphs                                                                        of the Writ petition are true to my personal knowledge,         based on documents and records and believed to be true and 
are based on legal advice.
3.     That the Annexure No NONE is a true copy of their originals.

Place Lucknow                                                                  (Dr Nutan Thakur)
Date-     29/01/2014                                                         Deponent
VERIFICATION
I, the deponent above named, do hereby verify that the contents of paragraphs 1 to 3 above this Affidavit are true and correct to my knowledge and belief. No part of it is false and nothing material has been concealed. So, help me God

Signed and verified this the                             day of                                    2014  at Lucknow
Deponent
Identification
I identify the deponent, on the basis of records produced before me, who has signed before me.
                                    Advocate

Solemnly affirmed me on                                 at                                am/pm by the deponent Nutan Thakur, who has been identified by Sri                              clerk to Sri                                                                                                                           , Advocate, high court, Lucknow Bench, Lucknow
I have satisfied myself by examining the deponent that she understands the contents of this Affidavit which have been read over and explained to her by me
                                                                                    Oath Commissioner


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