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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Supreme Court Orders Disciplinary Proceedings Against Lower Court Judge

Justice Katju

The Supreme Court directed the Delhi High Court Chief Justice to initiate disciplinary action against city's Additional District Judge Archana Sinha for defying an apex court's order and staying eviction proceeding against a tenant.

Though the judge herself tendered an unconditional apology in the open court and repeatedly sought "mercy", the apex court rejected her plea, saying that a stern message should go across the country against growing corruption in the subordinate judiciary.

A bench of justices Markandey Katju and Gyan Sudha Misra expressed serious concern over growing corruption in the subordinate judiciary involving judges, advocates and the litigants.

The apex court pointed out that because of growing nexus between the three sections, there is growing adverse public perception against the entire judiciary.

Though senior counsel Jayant Bhushan and other advocates appearing for the beleaguered judge pleaded with the bench to pardon her, the apex court said, "Archana Sinha had no business to over write its order."

"Archana Sinha had no business to defy our order and she has become a super Supreme Court," the bench observed.

The bench passed the order on a contempt petition filed by the landlord complaining that the judge on April 23 stayed the eviction proceedings against the tenant despite the fact that the apex court on October 6, 2010 had dismissed the tenant's appeal against the eviction order.

The tenant had also given an undertaking to vacate the premises within six months. However, instead of complying with the order, the tenant had approached the Additional District Judge Sinha and had obtained a stay on the eviction proceedings.

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