Decided on February 13,1973

B.K.MISRA Appellant


- (1.) WE propose to give a short account of facts forming the background of the present petition and we have taken these from the Full Bench judgment of this court in Original Criminal Misc. Case No. 8 of 1972 (Registrar, Orissa High Court v. Barada-kanta Misra and Anr.) disposed of on 5-2-1973. Sri Baradakanta Misra, the petitioner herein, is a permanent Subordinate Judge in the State of Orissa. After being superseded on certain occasions, he was promoted to officiate as an additional District Magistrate in the Junior Branch of the Orissa Superior Judicial service, and while so officiating in that post, he was in August, 1968 promoted to officiate in the Senior Branch of the said Service which comprises inter alia the post of Additional District Judge. By June, 1971, he was functioning as Additional district Judge at Cuttack. On 21-6-1971, he heard Money Appeal No. 33 of 1970 and posted it for judgment to the next day. It was alleged that on 22-6-1971 he delivered judgment in that appeal which was duly signed and sealed and the fact was noted in the order sheet, hut that subsequently, on the same day, he scored through his signatures in the judgment and also the order which was duly recorded in the order sheet, and making it appear that judgment had not been delivered, he accepted an application from the appellant for adducing additional evidence. On the ground that one of the parties in the appeal was known to him, he sent the record to the District Judge asking the latter to hear and dispose of the case. The District Judge brought this incident to the notice of the High Court. It may be stated here that the general record of service of the petitioner was far from satisfactory. During the period the petitioner functioned as Additional District judge, Cuttack several acts of gross indiscipline on his part had also been from time to time brought to the notice of the High Court. In that background when the specific allegation relating to the manner in which the petitioner dealt with Money appeal No. 33 of 1970 came to the notice of the High Court, instead of starting any disciplinary proceeding against the petitioner, which it was open to be done, the Court recommended to Government to revert him to the next lower rank of additional District Magistrate in the Junior Branch of the Superior Judicial Service. Government accepted the recommendation and ordered the petitioner's reversion. The petitioner submitted a representation to the Chief Minister praying for withdrawal of the order of reversion and for drawing up of a regular departmental proceeding against him and for placing him under suspension during the pendency of the proceeding, if necessary. Government accepted the representation and set aside the order of reversion. After receipt of the order of Government, the Full court at its meeting held on 28th March, 1972, decided to start a departmental proceeding against the petitioner, and, pending initiation and finalisation of the departmental proceeding, to place him under suspension. The petitioner was suspended with effect from 30th of March, 1972, and his headquarters was fixed to be Cuttack. The petitioner did not comply with the order fixing his headquarters at Cuttack and continued to stay at Bhubaneswar.
(2.) ON 29-4-72, eight charges framed by the High Court in the departmental proceeding were communicated to the petitioner. Charge 1 referred to the manner in which he dealt with the Money Appeal No. 33 of 1970. Charge No. 2 related to his inefficiency as a Sessions Judge as disclosed by the manner of his disposal of criminal Appeal No. 268 of 1970. Charges 3 and 4 referred to his acts of insubordination in relation to his dealings with the District Judge, Cuttack, Charge 5 dealt with unauthorised expenditure incurred by him while temporarily functioning as District Judge, Cuttack, during a short leave vacancy. Charge 6 dealt with unauthorised removal of Court furniture from the Court at Cuttack to his residence at Bhubaneswar outside the jurisdiction of the District Judge of Cuttack. Charge No. 7 dealt with use by him of indecorous and intemperate language against the District Judge of Cuttack. Charge No. 8 related to his non-compliance of the order of the High Court by not shifting his headquarters to Cuttack during the period of his suspension. The departmental proceeding initiated against the petitioner was entrusted for inquiry to Mr. Justice K. B. Panda, a Judge of this court who after inquiry submitted his report on 2nd August, 1972, finding the petitioner guilty of all the charges, excepting charge No. 4 (a ).
(3.) MEANWHILE, on 10th April, 1972, the petitioner submitted to the Governor what purported to be an appeal complaining against the order of suspension passed against him by the High Court in the disciplinary proceeding and praying to the governor to cancel the order of suspension and post him directly under government. In the garb and camouflage of the appeal, he had made several statements therein which prima facie amounted to contempt of the High Court. This was followed by a representation dated Nth May, 1972, made by the petitioner to the Governor, a copy of which was forwarded by him to the Registrar, high Court, and it was alleged that the said representation read as a whole constituted contempt of this Court and had the tendency of undermining and lowering its dignity, prestige and authority and scandalising the High Court. On 37-1972, therefore, a notice under the order of the High Court was issued by the registrar to the petitioner to show cause why he should not be punished for contempt of this Court. Details of the passages in the several representations made by him to the Governor, copies of which were sent to the High Court, and which were prima facie considered amounting to contempt, were mentioned in the notice. The petitioner entered appearance and showed cause. The defence was that there was nothing in the various representations made by him to the governor and letters written to the Registrar and referred to in the notice, which would amount to contempt of the Court, The impugned averments according to him were made with the sole object of stating the facts before his higher authorities in support of his contentions in the appeal and that those averments were based on truth as honestly believed by him and that he was legally entitled to express them. He further stated that the impugned acts, conduct and writings mentioned in the notice referred to the High Court only on its administrative side and not to the Court or its individual Judges on the judicial side.;

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