कोर्ट रूम में एयर कंडीशनर (एसी) ठीक से नहीं काम करने के कारण अधीनस्थ न्यायपालिका के एक सदस्य के खिलाफ अवमानना वाद चलाये जाने का एक मामला इलाहाबाद हाई कोर्ट की लखनऊ बेंच में सामने आया है.
कोर्ट नंबर 24 में कुछ समय से एसी ठीक काम नहीं कर रहे थे जिसके लिए जस्टिस राजीव शर्मा और जस्टिस महेंद्र दयाल ने सीनियर रजिस्ट्रार एके मुख़र्जी को 25 अगस्त 2014 को कोर्ट में तलब कर आदेशित किया था कि एसी ठीक कराये जाएँ नहीं तो उनके खिलाफ कठोर कार्यवाही की जायेगी.
26 अगस्त को भी एसी ठीक नहीं हुए जिस पर दोनों जजों ने श्री मुख़र्जी को दुबारा तलब किया. कोर्ट को यह महसूस हुआ कि एसी को शीघ्र ठीक करने का उचित आश्वासन देने की जगह उन्होंने उल्टा कहा कि कंटेम्प्ट करना है तो कर दें, जिसे कोर्ट ने अवामानानापूर्ण माना और श्री मुख़र्जी के खिलाफ आपराधिक अवमानना की कार्यवाही शुरू कर दी.
कोर्ट ने यह भी कहा कि “संवैधानिक संस्थाओं के कार्य हमारी न्यायिक व्यवस्था के किसी प्रशासनिक पक्ष की गड़बड़ी के कारण अनुचित ढंग से प्रभावित नहीं होने चाहिए. कोर्टों को हर दशा में कार्य करना चाहिए पर एसी ने काम नहीं करने से गर्मी और उमस के कारण न्यायिक कार्य करने में बहुत अधिक दिक्कत हो जाती है.”
आज सामाजिक कार्यकर्ता डॉ नूतन ठाकुर ने भारत के मुख्य न्यायाधीश को एक याचिका भेजा है जिसमे उन्होंने प्रशासनिक शिथिलता के लिये आपराधिक अवमानना के प्रयोग को अनुचित बताया है. उन्होंने कहा है कि आज आपराधिक अवमानना को समाप्त करने के लिए कई आवाजें उठ रही हैं और हाल में जस्टिस मार्कंडेय काटजू ने भी इन्हें संशोधित करने की पुरजोर वकालत की थी.
डॉ ठाकुर ने कहा कि हाई कोर्ट की अधीनस्थ न्यायालय के न्यायाधीशों पर सम्पूर्ण नियंत्रण को देखते हुए यह आसानी से माना जा सकता है कि श्री मुख़र्जी ने इस प्रकार के शब्द बहुत मजबूरी में ही कहे होंगे.
अतः उन्होंने इस अवमानना याचिका को सुप्रीम कोर्ट में स्थानांतरित किये जाने की प्रार्थना की है. साथ ही उन्होंने उच्चतर न्यायालय के न्यायाधीशों को अपने प्रशासनिक और न्यायिक कार्यों को पूरी तरह अलग-अलग रखने, आपराधिक अवमानना वाद शुरू करने में विशेष सतर्कता बरतने और एसी तथा अन्य सुविधाओं को मुद्दा नहीं बनाने हेतु आवश्यक निर्देश जारी करने का भी अनुरोध किया है.
The Hon’ble Chief Justice of India,
Hon’ble Supreme Court of India,
Subject- Contempt of Court for non-functioning of AC in Hon’ble Allahabad High Court
1. That by means of this petition, the petitioner presents before you an extra-ordinary case in which an officer of the Higher Judicial Service in Uttar Pradesh has been issued contempt notice by two Hon’ble Judges of the Lucknow bench of the Hon’ble Allahabad High Court for non-functioning of Air Conditioners in the Court room
2. That the petitioner presents a copy of the order dated 26/08/2014 passed by Hon’ble Justice Rajiv Sharma and Hon’ble Justice Mahendra Dayal in Contempt Petition No 1788 of 2014 (Cont) State of UP vs Mr. A.K. Mukherjee, H.J.S., Senior Registrar in the Lucknow bench of the Hon’ble Allahabad High Court, as Annexure No 1
3. That from the above order it is quite clear that the two Judges initiated the contempt proceedings against the Senior Registrar of the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court primarily for non-functioning of the ACs.
4. That thus there is no doubt that the contempt petition was issued against a senior member of Higher Judicial Service because of the reasons related with non-functioning of ACs.
5. That thus as per the Court order, atmosphere of Court No 24 was very humid and warm which made members of the Bar making regular complaint about non-functioning of ACs of the Court, for which the concerned officials had been informed
6. That again as per the Court order, the two Judges had summoned the Senior Registrar on 25/08/2014 and asked him to get all ACs repaired
7. That as per the Court order, despite these measures the Senior Registrar ignored these instructions so much so that on 26/08/2014, panel of one of the ACs installed above the litigants’ row in the Court fell down on the head of one of the litigant/pairokar, who fortunately, sustained only minor injuries.
8. That again as per the Court order, the two Judges summoned the Senior Registrar and asked him about non-repairing of ACs, but the Senior Registrar could not explain it satisfactorily and instead of giving assurance for speedy repair of ACs, uttered “dUVsEiV djuk gS rks dj ns (If you want to initiate contempt proceedings, kindly do so)”
9. That herein lies the real issue.
10. That not for once does the petitioner differ from the Court order that “functioning of the constitutional body should not be adversely affected on account of certain lacuna of the administrative side in our judicial system. Tradition or practice which affects the administration of justice without any reasonable cause should be removed. The highest constitutional body on judicial side of the State should be made functional to its optimum level. In other words, Courts should function at all costs but on account of non-functioning of ACs and humidity and warmness in the Court, it becomes very difficult to discharge the judicial functions”
11. That the petitioner also agrees that all efforts shall be made to ensure that ACs of the Hon’ble High Court rooms shall function effectively and efficiently so that the Hon’ble High Court Judges feel comfortable and are not hampered or adversely affected due to non-functioning of ACs
12. That the petitioner also agrees that on account of non-functioning of ACs and humidity and warmness in the Court, it becomes difficult to discharge the judicial functions
13. That but at the same time, the petitioner also fails to understand how the non-functioning of ACs and the failure of the Senior Registrar in ensuring effective functioning of ACs despite repeated instructions/directions by the Hon’ble Judges becomes contempt of the Court
14. That similarly the petitioner fails to understand why and how the Senior Registrar shall be hauled up by the Hon’ble Judges for non-functioning of ACs
15. That the petitioner does understand that the Senior Registrar is the administrative head for all such miscellaneous responsibilities including proper functioning of ACs in Court rooms and chambers of the Hon’ble Judges
16. That the petitioner also understands that in summers in UP the need for AC is immense because the weather is extremely hot in May-June and extremely humid, warm and sultry in July-September
17. That the petitioner also agrees that in the absence of AC, the Court rooms become very warm and hot and many a times definitely unbearable
18. That yet, to the best of the petitioner’s understanding, it would have been definitely appropriate if the Hon’ble Judges or the Bench Secretary on behalf of the Hon’ble Judges had sent in writing to the Hon’ble Chief Justice of the High Court to initiate appropriate administrative action, including suspension or departmental enquiry or any other suitable proceeding against Senior Registrar, if they felt that he was failing badly in his administrative duty, despite repeated instructions but to call the Senior Registrar in the Court room for such administrative matters itself does not seem appropriate at all because there is a very clear separation between the administrative and judicial functioning of the Hon’ble Judges of the High Courts and the Hon’ble Supreme Court
19. That calling the Registrar or any member of the Registry to the Court room to haul him or to issue such instructions on the administrative side itself does not seem to be appropriate on the first hand
20. That as the order itself says, the Hon’ble Judges not only summoned the Senior Registrar on 25/08/2014, they also issued specific threat to him that if the ACs don’t start functioning properly, otherwise, stern action be taken against him.
21. That similarly, the order again says that the two Hon’ble Judges summoned the Senior Registrar again on 26/08/2014 in the Court room on an administrative matter of ACs not properly repaired
22. That these acts of the Hon’ble Judges to summon/call the members of Registry in the Court rooms in matters of administrative nature itself seems to be inappropriate
23. That again, a reading of the lines “Sri A. K. Mukherjee, when appeared before us, instead of giving assurance for speedy repair of ACs, uttered “dUVsEiV djuk gS rks dj ns” in its totality makes it apparent that something happened in between that made the Senior Registrar so visibly upset or helpless or agitated or hostile or depressed that he got forced to utter such words like “if you want to issue contempt notice, kindly do so.”
24. That the above words makes it clear that the Senior Registrar did not utter them unprovoked or without any background, all on his own, but he said so only after something on the nature was repeatedly said to him
25. That from whatever understanding the petitioner has about the relative official status enjoyed by the members of the subordinate judiciary with the Hon’ble High Court Judges, the members of subordinate judiciary feel the Judges of the Hon’ble High Court as their Gods because of the simple reason that their entire career depends on these High Court Judges. The subordinate Judges very well know that one bad mark, one bad line, one harsh eye or one hard gesture on the part of the Hon’ble High Court Judges can completely ruin their entire career because on the complete hold on the service conditions of the subordinate judges by the Hon’ble High Courts
26. That in such circumstances, where the members of the subordinate judiciary suffer from what can be called a complete subjugation phenomenon, where they treat the Hon’ble High Court Judges as their ultimate guardians with complete and unshakeable hold over their live and career, and are also seen showing a completely servile behavior in their acts and conduct before the Hon’ble High Court Judges, the only possibility of a member of the subordinate judiciary trying to show rebelling gesture is when the member of subordinate judiciary is left with no other option or when he gets so much agitated or disturbed or depressed or hopeless or dejected that he forgets everything including the fact that he is standing before his ultimate authority, who controls his complete career, and states something of the kind mentioned in this order dated 26/08/2014
27. That thus the petitioner can vouch for the fact that except rarest of the rare circumstances, a member of the subordinate judiciary will utter such words only when he is pushed to the wall and in no other circumstances
28. That as stated earlier, a reading of the sentence “dUVsEiV djuk gS rks dj ns” (if you want to issue contempt notice, kindly do so” also makes it visibly clear that the Senior Registrar faced such circumstances where he got fed up with the situation he was facing and in the state of visibly irritated mind, he forgot everything and reaching the maximum level of revolt that he could ever think of or imagine, he said that if the Hon’ble Judges did want to initiate contempt proceedings against him for non-functioning and non-repair of ACs, let them proceed
29. That thus these words of the Senior Registrar prima-facie seem to show his extreme helplessness and pathos which he had to undergo in the prevailing circumstances where the facts and circumstances seem to suggest that when called to the Court room, the Senior Registrar was clearly humiliated, abused and threatened with dire consequences, including the use of contempt proceeding, where after repeated threats, somewhere in the process, the Senior Registrar’s cool and temper seemed to have snapped and he uttered the words mentioned in the word, which possibly he would not even have dreamed to state in the normal circumstances
30. That thus the above facts bring forth two related issues- (a) the misuse of authority of the Hon’ble High Court by the Hon’ble High Court Judges in administrative matters (b) the misuse of the process of Contempt proceedings
31. That never for once is the petitioner saying that the failure on the part of the Senior Registrar shall condoned or not be taken into account
32. That the Senior Registrar shall be punished under provisions of administrative and departmental laws after an appropriate departmental enquiry, as per the prevailing laws, rules, regulations and the facts of the case
33. That but in no way shall the administrative failure be punished or penalized under a criminal provision, that too under the criminal contempt proceedings
34. That the Criminal contempt proceedings have been a contentious issue for long and there are many votaries for completely withdrawing the provisions of criminal contempt
35. That In Re: Vinay Chandra Mishra (the alleged contemner) [AIR 1995 SC 2348] the Hon’ble Court said that when the court exercises this power, it does not do so to vindicate the dignity and honour of the individual judge who is personally attacked or scandalised, but to uphold the majesty of the law and of the administration of justice. It said that the foundation of the judiciary is the trust and the confidence of the people in its ability to deliver fearless and impartial justice. When the foundation itself is shaken by acts which tend to create disaffection and disrespect for the authority of the court by creating distrust in its working, the edifice of the judicial system gets eroded.
36. That in Shri Baradakanta Mishra v. The Registrar of Orissa High Court & Anr [1974 (1) SCC 374] Krishna Iyer, J. while concurring with the main judgment authored by Palekar, J. observed that the dilemma of the law of contempt arises because of the constitutional need to balance two great but occasionally conflicting principles – freedom of expression and fair and fearless justice. After referring to the judgments of English, American and Canadian Courts, he observed: “Before stating the principles of law bearing on the facets of contempt of court raised in this case we would like to underscore the need to draw the lines clear enough to create confidence in the people that this ancient and inherent power, intended to preserve the faith of the public in public justice, will not be so used as to provoke public hostility as overtook the Star Chamber. A vague and wandering jurisdiction with uncertain frontiers, a sensitive and suspect power to punish vested in the prosecutor, a law which makes it a crime to public regardless of truth and public good and permits a process of brevi manu conviction, may unwittingly trench upon civil liberties and so the special jurisdiction and jurisprudence bearing on contempt power must be delineated with deliberation and operated with serious circumspection by the higher judicial echelons. So it is that as the palladium of our freedoms, the Supreme Court and the High Courts, must vigilantly protect free speech even against judicial umbrage – a delicate but sacred duty whose discharge demands tolerance and detachment of a high order.”
37. That In Re: S.Mulgaokar [1978 (3) SCC 339], Krishna Iyer, J. while concurring observed: “The contempt power, though jurisdictionally large, is discretionary in its unsheathed exercise. Every commission of contempt need not erupt in indignant committal or demand punishment, because Judges are judicious, their valour non- violent and their wisdom goes into action when played upon by a volley of values, the least of which is personal protection – for a wide discretion, range of circumspection and rainbow of public considerations beningnantly guide that power. Justice if not hubris; power is not petulance and prudence is not pusillanimity, especially when Judges are themselves prospectors and mercy is a mark of strength, not whimper of weakness. Christ and Gandhi shall not be lost on the Judges at a critical time when courts are on trial and the people (“We, the People of India”) pronounce the final verdict on all national institutions..”He further observed that contempt power is a wise economy to use by the Court of this branch of its jurisdiction.
38. That in a recent article “It’s time to amend law on contempt of court”, ex Judge of Hon’ble Supreme Court, Justice Markandey Katju said-“The present law of contempt of court in India is a hangover of the original law on this subject in England. This originated from an undelivered judgment of J Wilmot in 1765, where the judge said the power of contempt of court was necessary to maintain the dignity and majesty of judges and vindicate their authority. XXXX Hence in a democracy there is no need for judges to vindicate their authority or display pomp and majesty. Their authority comes not from fear of contempt but from the public confidence, and this in turn depends on their own conduct, integrity, impartiality, and learning.”
39. That the article said-“This view is accepted now even in England. As observed by Lord Salmon in AG vs Bbb (1981) A.C. 303, “The description contempt of court no doubt has a historical basis, but it is nevertheless misleading. Its object is not to protect the dignity of the court, but to protect the administration of justice”. “Justice is not a cloistered virtue,” said Lord Atkin. “It must suffer the scrutiny and outspoken comments of ordinary men”. In R. Vs. Commr. of Police (1968) 2 QB 150 Lord Denning observed, “Let me say at once that we will never use this jurisdiction to uphold our own dignity. That must rest on surer foundations. Nor will we use it to suppress those who speak against us. We do not fear criticism, nor do we resent it. For there is something far more important at stake. It is no less than freedom of speech itself…All that we ask is that those who criticize us should remember that, from the nature of our duties, we cannot reply to their criticism. We cannot enter into public controversy. We must rely on our conduct itself to be its own vindication”.
40. That Justice Katju said-“Now coming to the law of contempt in India, we find it is uncertain. Nariman described it in a speech as ‘Dog’s Law’. To illustrate, in Duda’s case AIR 1988 SC 1208, a Union Cabinet minister said that the Supreme Court sympathized with zamindars and bank magnates. XXX Nariman asked whether if such a comment had been made by an ordinary man the court would have taken no action. Moreover, in an earlier decision, in the case of Namboodiripad (former CM of Kerala), who accused Supreme Court judges of being biased in favour of the rich, (an allegation similar to that of the Union minister in Duda’s case) the court convicted Namboodiripad for contempt (AIR 1770 2015). Where is the certainty or consistency in the law ?”
41. That Justice Katju said-“It follows that the contempt power cannot be exercised because people are criticizing a judge. It can only be exercised if someone makes the functioning of the judge impossible eg if while a judge is hearing a case someone jumps on to the dias and tries to run away with the court file, or if he attacks or threatens a witness. If someone calls a judge a fool inside the courtroom and goes away, in my opinion it is not contempt, for he has not stopped the functioning of the court. But if he keeps shouting in court the whole day, and despite warning does not stop, he is obviously not letting the court function, and this would be contempt”
42. That hence he concluded-“I submit that the time has come now for Parliament, the judiciary and others concerned to take a fresh look at the law of contempt of court in the light of what I have said above, and bring about necessary amendments.”
43. That in his speech “Contempt of court: need for a second look” delivered on 22/01/2007 in Indian Society of International Law, then Hon’ble Justice Katju had said-“In a democracy the people should have the right to criticise judges. The purpose of the contempt power should not be to uphold the majesty and dignity of the court but only to enable it to function.” He said-“In a democracy, the purpose of the contempt power can only be to enable the court to function. The power is not to prevent the master (the people) from criticising the servant (the judge) if the latter does not function properly or commits misconduct.” He quoted a speech delivered on the topic “The Law of Contempt — is it being stretched too far?” by the doyen of the Indian Bar Fali Nariman who said the offence of scandalising the court is a mercurial jurisdiction in which there are no rules and no constraints. He and others are perfectly correct in saying there should be certainty in the law, and not uncertainty. Justice Katju said-“The best shield and armour of a judge is his reputation of integrity, impartiality, and learning. An upright judge will hardly ever need to use the contempt power in his judicial career. I submit that the law of contempt of court can be made certain once it is accepted that the purpose of the contempt power is not to vindicate or uphold the majesty and dignity of the court (for it is automatically vindicated and upheld by the proper conduct of the judge, not by threats of using the contempt power) but only to en-able the court to function. The contempt power should only be used in a rare and exceptional situations where, without using it, it becomes impossible or extremely difficult for the court to function. In such situations, the contempt power should not be used if a mere threat to use it suffices. That a fresh, modern, democratic approach, like that in England, the United States, and Commonwealth countries, is now required in India to do away with the old anachronistic view. Contempt jurisdiction is now very sparingly exercised in these western countries. Thus in Defence Secretary v. Guardian Newspapers (1985) 1 A.C. 339 (347), Lord Diplock observed that “the species of contempt which consists of ‘scandalising the judges’ is virtually obsolescent in England and may be ignored.”
44. That with the above facts, it can be easily seen how and where initiating contempt proceedings against a member for non-functioning of ACs in the court room stands. Similarly initiating contempt proceedings after having hauled a member of subordinate judiciary in open court and after possibly issuing threat after threat of initiating contempt proceeding where he could no longer tolerate it and was finally forced to utter such words as written in the order, are again no contempt and the initiation of the contempt proceeding shows the clear misuse of the provisions of contempt power
45. That the above facts clearly show that possibly at many places the power granted under criminal contempt is being misused in such manners to reinforce or show one’s personal authority and power as the Judge of the Hon’ble High Court which was never the purpose and function of granting this power to the Judicial authorities
46. That as stated earlier, the criminal contempt proceedings under Section 2(c) of the Contempt of Courts Act 1971 are for publication of any matter or the doing of any other act which -i) scandalises or tends to scandalise, or lowers or tends to lower the authority of, any court, or ii) prejudices, or interferes or tends to interfere with, the due course of any judicial proceeding; or iii) interferes or tends to interfere with, or obstructs or tends to obstruct, the administration of justice in any other manner.”
47. That, this very special power has been bestowed with lot of responsibility and not to fretter it away in cases as being mentioned here, where the ACs are not working in the Court rooms or where an officer, after getting visibly irritated and perturbed retorts by saying that if the Hon’ble Judges feel so, let them initiate contempt proceedings
48. That if such misuse of criminal contempt is started, it will be the end of the day for judicial respect, which is the true basis of judicial authority and true source of judicial power
49. That as stated by Justice Katju and as stated by the Hon’ble Supreme Court again and again, the power and authority of Judiciary does not come from suppression or regression or for threat but it comes through respect, willingness to accept their words, the larger public acceptability and the sense of reliance and reliability on Judiciary
50. That if the above are lost, no brutal force, no law and no regimen can restore or perpetuate the authority of Judiciary, including the Higher Judiciary and hence the Judiciary must remain extremely sensitive to these facts
51. That it is kindly prayed that let the members of High Court not correlate non-functioning of ACs with criminal contempt. While ACs are fine and they are needed for better functioning but let the ACs not become the reason for initiating criminal contempt proceedings
52. That hence it is kindly prayed that let the members of Higher Judiciary be reminded and made known that while they are lucky enough to have ACs in their Court rooms and chambers which are kept there to keep their rooms comfortable, there are millions of houses and offices in India which have no ACs at all. It may kindly be kept in mind that there are millions and millions of people who are also undertaking variety of public works without any ACs. It may also be kindly kept in mind that many households do not even have Air coolers and there would be a substantial proportion of houses which do not even have electricity in their houses
53. That the weather of India is such that the major portion of the Nation has hot, sultry and extremely uncomfortable weather all through the summers, from May to September
54. That hence the members of Higher Judiciary, who are among the lucky, due to their higher and elevated constitutional, social and administrative positions, to get almost uninterrupted AC facility in their Court rooms and chambers but this shall not become so important a factor as to start making an issue out of it or calling the absence of AC as major reason for non-functioning or affecting the administration of justice or becoming a reason or plea for not discharging the judicial functions.
55. That this would be preposterous and abjectly equal treatment on the part of the Hon’ble High Court Judges to make AC so important in the functioning as to become the prime reason for non-functioning of judicial activities because as stated earlier, lakhs of public offices- schools, colleges, hospitals, railway stations, bus stations, other government offices, other subordinate judicial courts are actually functioning in the same weather conditions, without any ACs and are not raising any hue and cry about lack of AC
56. That summing it up, the matter acquires great importance because of the following reasons- (a) it brings many important aspects related with judicial functioning (b) it shows the way administrative and judicial functioning are being intermixed at the higher levels (c) it presents an example of the use/misuse of the provisions of criminal contempt
57. That in such circumstances, the petitioner, working in the field of transparency and accountability in public life, including judicial accountability, finds it her duty to bring all these facts before you so as to make the following prayer.
(A)kindly order transfer of the above mentioned Contempt Petition No 1788 of 2014 (Cont) State of UP vs Mr. A.K. Mukherjee, H.J.S., Senior Registrar in the Lucknow bench of the Hon’ble Allahabad High Court to the Hon’ble Supreme Court, considering all the above facts and considering the need to get the matter heard not at the Hon’ble High Court level where it was initiated by two Hon’ble High Court Judges
(B)Kindly issue appropriate directions on the administrative side to all the Hon’ble Judges of the Hon’ble Supreme Court and the various Hon’ble High Courts not to mix their role and authority granted on the administrative and judicial side and to keep the two roles on administrative and judicial sides strictly separate so that such instances like calling the officers of the Registry in the Court rooms on administrative side and then hauling them up or issuing directions as has happened in the above case do not get repeated
(C) Kindly issue appropriate directions on the administrative side to all the Hon’ble Judges of the Hon’ble Supreme Court and the various Hon’ble High Courts to be extremely cautious about the use of criminal contempt proceedings defined in section 2(c) of the Contempt of Courts Act 1971, particularly in the changed socio-politico-legal circumstances of today’s world where power is not derived from the Kings and rulers but the real and final power lies with the people and hence the respect of the Judiciary can be obtained not through threat or strong-arm measures but through neutrality, ability, intent, conduct, integrity, impartiality, and learning
(D) Kindly issue appropriate directions on the administrative side to all the Hon’ble Judges of the Hon’ble Supreme Court and the various Hon’ble High Courts to completely avoid making an issue out of such things as non-functioning of ACs, such other comforts etc firstly because it sends wrong signals in the minds of the people and secondly because they belong to and are serving the people of a country where ACs and such other comforts are still a huge luxury and the large majority are still long-long devoid of all these things
(Dr Nutan Thakur)
5/426, Viram Khand,
CONTEMPT No. – 1788 of 2014 at Lucknow : State Of U.P. Vs. Mr. A.K. Mukherjee, H.J.S., Senior Registrar, High Court, Lucknow
HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT ALLAHABAD, LUCKNOW BENCH
O R D E R
Yesterday i.e. on 25.8.2014, due to non-functioning of the ACs installed in Court No.24, atmosphere of the Court was so humid and warm that learned Advocates including Senior Advocates, namely, Mr. Anil Kumar Tiwari, Mohd. Arif Khan, Dr. L.P.Mishra, made complain in this context to the Court. It may be noted that Members of the Bar have regularly been making complaint about non-functioning of ACs of the Court, for which Bench Secretary was directed to inform the concerned official(s). It was brought to our notice that seven ACs (Five Split AC and Two Window ACs) are installed in Court but due to non-functioning of 5 (five) ACs, the atmosphere of the Court is very harm and humid.
Keeping in view the anxiety of the learned Members of the Bar, we summoned the Senior Registrar of this Court on 25.8.2014 and asked him to look into the matter and to get all ACs repaired so as to ensure that judicial functioning of the Court shall not be hampered due to non-functioning of the ACs installed in the Court, otherwise, stern action be taken against him.
Today i.e. 26.8.2014, when the Court is in session, panel of one of the ACs installed above the litigants’ row in the Court fell down on the head of one of the litigant/pairokar, but fortunately, he sustained minor injuries. To our dismay, it is found that despite the oral warning given to the Senior Registrar of this Court yesterday i.e. 25.8.2014, the Senior Registrar failed to make sincere efforts to ensure proper functioning of the ACs.
Taking serious note of the facts, we summoned the Senior Registrar again today and asked him as to why ACs are not properly repaired, despite oral direction given by this Court yesterday. The answer of the Senior Registrar is not as such which may impress us.
It would be apt to mention here that functioning of the constitutional body should not be adversely affected on account of certain lacuna of the administrative side in our judicial system. Tradition or practice which affects the administration of justice without any reasonable cause should be removed. The highest constitutional body on judicial side of the State should be made functional to its optimum level. In other words, Courts should function at all costs but on account of non-functioning of ACs and humidity and warmness in the Court, it becomes very difficult to discharge the judicial functions. It may be added that Sri A. K. Mukherjee, when appeared before us, instead of giving assurance for speedy repair of ACs, uttered “dUVsEiV djuk gS rks dj ns A” Thus, the act of Sri A. K. Mukherjee appears to be contumacious in nature.
For the reasons aforesaid, office is directed to register a criminal contempt case against Mr. A.K. Mukherjee, Senior Registrar, High Court, Lucknow Bench, Lucknow, with the following description:
Criminal Misc. Case No. (C) of 2014
Mr. A.K. Mukherjee, H.J.S., Senior Registrar, High Court, Lucknow Bench, Lucknow.
Let a notice be issued to Mr. A.K. Mukherjee, H.J.S., Senior Registrar, High Court, Lucknow Bench, Lucknow, as to why a proceeding under the Contempt of Courts Act should not be initiated against him, fixing the case on 01.09.2014. Mr. A.K. Mukherjee will submit his reply on or before 01.09.2014.
List the matter on 01.09.2014.
[Mahendra Dayal,J.] [Rajiv Sharma, J.]
Order : 26.8.2014