SANT RAM Vs. GENERAL OF INDIA
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
GENERAL OF INDIA
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Sinha, C. J. -
(1.)This matter was placed before the Constitution Bench by an order of the Chamber Judge dated August 14, 1959, as it involved the vires of the rules framed under Art. 145 of the Constitution with particular reference to R. 24 of O. IV-A of the Supreme Court Rules (as Amended).
(2.)It appears that on receipt of a letter dated April 28, 1959, from the Supreme Court Bar association forwarding a copy of a resolution which had been passed by the Executive Committee of that Association, the Registrar initiated proceedings and held an enquiry under R. 24 (2) of Chap. IV-A. The enquiry was made against two persons named Sant Ram and Budh Dev Sharma on a complaint made by the Honorary Secretary of the Supreme Court Bar Association. The complaint against those person was to the effect that they were "continuing their undesirable activities" and were seen every day in the Court premises and in the verandah in front of the Bar Association "accosting clients". On receipt of the Secretary's letter the Registrar caused notices to be issued to the two persons aforesaid to show cause why their names should not be included in the "list of touts" to be kept hung up on the Court notice board according to R. 24 aforesaid. The Registrar fixed a date for holding the enquiry and called upon those person to appear before him and to adduce such evidence as they may be advised, in showing cause against the inclusion of their names in such a list. The notice further called upon them to file their replies, if any, to the complaint on or before May 6, 1959, and to be ready with all their evidence and witnesses, if any, at the hearing on May 9, 1959. Copies of the complaint and other relevant papers were also sent to the Secretary of the Supreme Court Bar Association inviting him to take such part in the proceedings as the Association may be advised and requesting him to furnish particulars of the evidence in support of the complaint and to be ready with the evidence. In pursuance of the notice aforesaid Budh dev Sharma alias B. D. Pathak filed his reply on May 6, 1959, annexing thereto certain documents and praying that he may be allowed to continue earning his livelihood. He also prayed that his employer Shri Dharam Bhushan, Advocate, may be accorded permission to have his name registered as a clerk in the Registry and also in the Bar Association. On May 8, 1959, Sant Ram filed his reply to the said notice annexing thereto a certificate of Mr. M. G. Bimasena Rao, Advocate, and praying that the notice against him may be discharged and that he be "allowed to make both ends meet in the service of his present employer", meaning thereby Mr. Bhimasena Rao, Advocate. The proceedings before the Registrar commenced on May 9, 1959, and were concluded on May 11, when evidence was recorded.
(3.)A preliminary objection was raised on behalf of the persons proceeded against that the rules framed by the Supreme Court under which the proceedings had been initiated against them were ultra vires the powers of the Court conferred by Art. 145 of the Constitution. It was contended on their behalf that the Registrar had no jurisdiction to initiate the proceedings against them. The learned Registrar overruled the preliminary objection and held that it was not competent for him to go behind the rules and that he must follow them, thought he indicated that if he had the competence to decide the preliminary objection on its merits, he would have no difficulty in holding that the objection was wholly unfounded.
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