No scathing remarks against lower court judges: SC to HCs

New Delhi: The Supreme Court has said that the High Courts should not pass scathing remarks against the lower courts' orders and over-step their boundaries, only because they do not agree with their point of view.

A bench of Justice Deepak Gupta and Justice Aniruddha Bose was considering an appeal filed by a judicial officer, against whom the Allahabad High Court not only made scathing observations but also imposed a fine of Rs 10,000.

The lower court judge had approached the top court against the high court order.

The lower court judge told the top court that he was holding the post of Motor Accident Claims Tribunal at the relevant time.

The claim petition was filed before him by two counsels -- D.K. Saxena and R.M. Singh. Later the matter was settled between the claimant and the insurance company but a dispute occurred related to payment of fees.

He passed an order favouring Singh.

Holding that it is normally the Bar Council and not the court that would settle a dispute between two lawyers, the High Court made certain observations against the lower court judge, questioning his bona fides, casting aspersions on his integrity and also accused him of favouring one of the lawyer in that matter.

The top court said that the higher courts should not pass scathing remarks against the presiding officer of the lower courts only because they do not agree with the point of view of the trial court.

"As far as the remarks are concerned, we are clearly of the view that all the adverse remarks in the judgment made against appellant, whereby his integrity has been questioned or whereby aspersions have been cast on his character, judicial orders or otherwise are bound to be expunged," the top court said.

The bench felt that the High Court was to place the matter before the Chief Justice on the administrative side with a request that action is taken against the judicial officer concerned.

"In this case, the High Court did that but in addition passed the scathing remarks which virtually meant that the appellant stood condemned even before any disciplinary proceedings were initiated against him," the court said and ordered High Court to delete the paragraph from its order.

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