Decided on October 13,1965

DESAI M C Respondents


- (1.)THE question for consideration in this writ petition is whether a Government Servant is entitled to have the assistance of a lawyer during a departmental enquiry. Te] Pal Singh is the petitioner. Ha worked as District Judge at Etah from August 1661 to July 1963. Sri R. S. Misra was posted as Civil Judge at Etah. In June 1964 the District Judge made a confidential report to the Registrar of the High Court against Sri R. S. Misra. Against that report Sri R. S. Miara made a representation to the High Court in November 1963. It was stated in the representation that the District Judge was annoyed with one clerk, Mathur. The petitioner suggested to the Superintendent of Police that some clothes should be planted in Mathur's house. Subsequently Mathur's house should be searched. In this way Mathur should be falsely implicated. In view of those allegations contained in the representation of Sri R. S. Misra, the High Court started a departmental enquiry against the petitioner. The petitioner requested that he should be permitted to have assistance of a counsel before the enquiring officer. The request was turned down by the High Court. Tej Pal Singh has, therefore, filed this petition for the issue of a writ of mandamus directing the respondents to permit the petitioner to be defended by an advocate of his choice. There is also a prayer for a writ of certiorari quashing the order, dated 8 October 1964. The Chief Justice is respondent 1 in the writ petition. The Registrar of the High Court is respondent 4. Members of the Administrative Committee were subsequently added as respondents. The enquiry is now being held by Justice Sri Manchanda. He is respondent 11 in the writ petition.
(2.)THE learned Senior Standing Counsel appearing for some respondents raised a preliminary objection that we have no jurisdiction to issue any writ under Article 226 of the Constitution against the Judges of the High Court. Since the writ petition fails on merits, I consider it unnecessary to deal with the preliminary objection.
(3.)ANNEXARE A to the writ petition is a copy of the petitioner's application dated 30 September 1964 for assistance of a lawyer. Annnexurs B to the petition is a copy of the Joint Registrar's reply dated 8 October 1964 to the effect that the petitioner cannot be permitted the assistance of a counsel. One counter-affidavit has been filed by Justice Sri V. Bhargava, respondent 2, who was formerly the Administrative Judge. Another counter-affidavit has been filed by Sri P. N. Goel, Joint Registrar of the High Court. The petitioner filed rejoinder-affidavits.

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