Decided on August 14,2002

U.O.I. Respondents


G.B.Pattanaik,M.B.Shah,Doraiswamy Raju,S.N.Variava,D.M.Dharmadhikari - (1.)THIS writ petition had been filed by the U. P. Judicial Officers' Association as a serious incident occurred, which tantamounts to interference with the judicial independence. THIS Court being cognizant of the seriousness of the matter, had issued notice to the State and also by an interim direction, issued certain guidelines following the earlier decision of this Court in the case of Delhi Judicial Service Association, JT 1991 (3) SC 617. By order dated 7th of March, 1994, this Court had further added that when any criminal conduct is attributed to a judicial officer in discharge of his duties or in purported exercise or discharge of his duties, we direct that, in addition, no crime for investigation should be registered pursuant to any F.I.R. without the permission of the Chief Justice of the concerned High Court. We reaffirm the aforesaid interim direction of the Court as a part of the final order. It further transpires that there has been an investigation into the alleged offence said to have been committed by Shri N. K. Jain, the then Chief Judicial Magistrate, Bareilly, and the investigating agency has filed a final report indicating that the Chief Judicial Magistrate has no criminal involvement and the allegation that he has demanded or accepted Rs. 5,000 as bribe is totally false and baseless. The aforesaid final report also further states that : "The investigation has revealed that the police officers aggrieved with the strictures passed by Shri N. K. Jain against them from time to time, conspired with the complainant and with Sukhpal Singh and Manjeet Singh to lodge a complaint against Shri N. K. Jain and investigation revealed that Shri N. K. Jain, C.J.M. has denied the entire allegation against him."
(2.)THIS final form has also been accepted by the concerned Magistrate. It is also apparent from the materials on record that the Central Bureau of Investigation has filed an application for permission to investigate into the offence committed by the errant officer, which prima facie, appears to be one under Sections 120B and 211, I.P.C., and counsel states that permission in question has been granted in the meantime. Notwithstanding the criminal prosecution, we fail to understand as to why the disciplinary authority has not taken any disciplinary proceedings against the errant officers in a serious matter like this. The learned counsel for the petitioner vehemently contended that the Court would initiate the contempt proceedings against the police officer concerned. But having regard to the lapse of time, we are not persuaded to take this course of action. Be it be stated that by not taking any action under the provisions of Contempt of Courts Act, does not in any way minimise the seriousness of the offence in question. The counsel also urged that some additional guidelines be issued to the effect that before lodging an F.I.R. against any judicial officer, the permission of the Chief Justice of the High Court should be obtained irrespective of the nature of the offence and irrespective of the fact that the alleged offences are in discharge of his official duty or purported discharge of his official duty. We do not think it necessary to issue any such direction, as at present in the case in hand. The interim orders and directions issued in this case as well as the guidelines indicated by this Court in the case of Delhi Judicial Service Association (supra) are sufficient to protect the independence of the judicial officers. Having heard the learned counsel for the parties, we dispose of this matter by directing the prosecution to proceed with the criminal case as expeditiously as possible, and we further direct that the disciplinary authority should initiate/take appropriate disciplinary action against the errant police officer. THIS writ petition is disposed of accordingly with the aforesaid observations. The disciplinary authority would do well in reporting to this Court what action has been taken in this matter.

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