Reported By: Priya Jha
The supreme court upheld the penalty of dismissal of a civil judge and said that providing an unprepared judgement, fait accompli, is completely unacceptable and unbecoming of a judicial officer: Justice V.Ramasubramanian
Factual background of the case
In this matter, a respondent was charged with gross misconduct by the order passed on 25-01-2023 without taking disciplinary action before finalizing the Judgement. In the investigation conducted by an Investigation officer in the enquiry report, it was held that some of the charges against the respondent were not proven. The Karnataka high court resolved to impose the penalty for dismissal from service upon the respondent. Subsequently aggrieved by the order passed by the high court regarding dismissal from the service the respondent filled a three writ petition and all the petition was rejected on the ground that no further enquiry will be conducted against the respondent charged of pronouncing unprepared judgement committing gross negligence and callousness of Judicial Officer. Further, the respondent filed a civil petition before the supreme court challenging the order passed by the high court.
- Whether the dismissal of the judicial officer is justified without not having a proper disciplinary proceeding
- Whether the division bench of the high court is right in setting aside the order of the district court
Supreme court analysis
According to the supreme court, a judge cannot deliver the judgement’s conclusion in public without having the entire text prepared. However, the court also ruled that delivering a fait accompli was completely unacceptable and unworthy of a judge and that the order of dismissal from service, as a result, was fully justified.
The supreme court further asserts that the high court failed to evaluate the appropriateness of the penalty order in this case by the established standards that the court is required to adhere to when considering a challenge to a penalty order imposed on a judicial officer by a disciplinary proceeding that was followed by a resolution of the full court of the high court.
The supreme court rely on the judgement of Managing Director ECIL V. B Karunakar 1994 SUPP 2 SCC 391 in which case the court held that the high court passed an order setting aside the penalty and considered the respondent innocent and honest officer was a violation of the principle of the natural justice was not factually and legally correct and therefore the supreme court allowed the appeal and set aside the impugned order of the high court.