“The conduct of the judicial officer must be beyond doubt as a Judge”: Allahabad HC

Team SoOLEGAL 15 Dec 2018 4:20pm

“The conduct of the judicial officer must be beyond doubt as a Judge”: Allahabad HC

The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad HC, comprising Chief Justice Govind Mathur and Justice Shabihul, on Wednesday upheld the dismissal of a judicial officer on grounds of misconduct, because of the orders passed by her in land acquisition cases.

The court’s decision came while hearing a petition filed by Ghaziabad’s former Additional District Judge, Ms. Sadhna Chaudhary, who has challenged the order of her dismissal passed by the Appointments Department of the State Government in January 2016.

The court during the hearing observed:

A judicial officer is not an ordinary Government Servant and must be above suspicion. The conduct of the judicial officer must be beyond doubt as a Judge must be a person of high integrity, honesty and required to have moral vigour, fairness and should be impervious to corrupt or venial influences.”

Case background:

Disciplinary proceedings were initiated against Justice Sadhna Chaudhary for two land acquisition cases dealt with by her.

In one of the cases, Justice Sadhna had awarded solatium, additional amount and interest in addition to the agreed rates in the compromise deed despite acknowledging the same. And in the second case, she had gone against her own orders passed in relation to the same village and had enhanced the rate of compensation.

The Allahabad HC had subsequently, on an appeal filed by the Agra Development Authority, made some far-reaching observations in connection with the manner in which land acquisition references were being decided in the State of U.P.

The high court upheld the dismissal of the petitioner, after it approved the finding arrived at by the enquiry officers, observing:

The finding given by the Enquiry Officer about the wind fall gain made available to the claimants by the petitioner were absolutely shocking and since the same were not mere errors of judgment, but they are evident blunders deliberately by the petitioner, therefore, the Enquiry Officer had rightly concluded from the decision making process of the two orders of the petitioner that it was the result of extraneous considerations and the same was not mere error of the judgment therefore both the charges were rightly proved.”

Further, opining that no case is made out in favour of the petitioner and, thereby, dismissing the petition, the court finally observed:

The petitioner has utterly failed in justifying her conduct in discharging her judicial functions and in deciding the two Land Acquisition References, in the most reckless and arbitrary manner, which were bereft of all judicial propriety and since it amounted to misconduct under the Conduct Rules, therefore, the finding of the Enquiry Officer in proving the aforesaid two charges cannot be negated.”

Source: Live Law

Tagged: Allahabad High Court   Judicial Officers   Chief Justice Govind Mathur   Justice Shabihul Hasnain   Additional District Judge  
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