High Court is duty bound to take disciplinary action againt a Judicial officer if there are serious allegations of misconduct, says SC.
In case titled ‘High Court of Patna vs Ajay Kumar Srivastava’ Apex Court has held that High Court was grossly wrong in compulsorily retiring a District Judge as a punishment and that too without any disciplinary enquiry.
Bench of Justice J Chelameswar and Justice Abhay Manohar Sapre ruled that High Court is duty bound to take disciplinary action againt a Judicial officer if there are serious allegations of misconduct against him.
Full Court of Patna High Court had compulsorily retired a Judicial officer with full retiral benefits. Complaint of serious misconduct were received against him by Registrar Vigilance and by his Inspecting Judge.
The decision was challenged by the officer before High Court on its Judicial side. The HC Bench set aside the compulsory retirement order.
It was challenged by the High Court before the Supreme Court. Apex Court upheld the order of DB of the Patna High Court.
HC had held that it was not a case on compulsory retirement in ordinary course.
It was rather compulsory retirement on an allegation and that too without any departmental enquiry. In such a scenario it takes a character of a punishment, which is legally untenable.