S. Palanisamy Vs.
P.R. Senniappan & Ors.  INSC 2014 (25 November 2008)
SUPREME COURT OF
INDIA RECORD OF PROCEEDINGS Petition(s) for Special Leave to Appeal (Crl)
No(s).1250/2006 (From the judgement and order dated 25/11/2004 in CRLOP No.
35807/2004 of The HIGH COURT OF MADRAS) S. PALANISAMY Petitioner(s) VERSUS P.R.
SENNIAPPAN & ORS. Respondent(s) (With appln(s) for c/delay in filing
SLP,exemption from filing O.T.,stay,exemption from filing c/c of the impugned
order and office report ) Date: 25/11/2008 This Petition was called on for
HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE
S.B. SINHA HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE CYRIAC JOSEPH For Petitioner(s) Mr. K.K.
Mr. C.K.R. Lenin
Mr. Mayur R. Shah,
Mr.V. Ramasubramaniam, Adv.
UPON hearing counsel
the Court made the following ORDER Delay condoned.
The appeal is allowed
in terms of the signed order.
[ Meenu Sethi ] [
Pushap Lata Bhardwaj ] A.R.-cum -P.S. Court Master Signed order is placed on
the file IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CRIMINAL APPEAL NO.1918 OF 2008 (Arising out of S.L.P. (Crl) No.1250/2008)
S.Palanisamy ...Appellant Versus P.R.Senniappan & Ors. ...Respondents O R D
E R Delay condoned.
Having heard learned
counsel for the parties,we are of the opinion that although, the High Court was
correct in observing that the appellant before us has exceeded his jurisdiction
conferred on him under Section 107 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, in view
of the fact that neither any malafide was attributed nor any finding having
been arrived at that his action was accentuated by any extraneous
consideration, we are of the opinion that it committed a serious error in
directing the Government of Tamil Nadu to initiate a departmental proceeding
against him. For the self same reasons, we are of the opinion that the
observations made against the appellant in paras 6,7 and 8 of the impugned
order were not warranted. The appellant committed a mistake while exercising
his jurisdiction. It is an error of judgment on his part but it must be borne
in mind that the standard expected of a judicial officer, in our opinion, may
not be expected from an Executive Magistrate. Furthermore,he was not heard
before the impugned observations were made.
-1- In V.Sujatha vs.
State of Kerala and Ors, 1994 Suppl. 3 SCC 436, this Court has observed as
appeals by Mrs. V Sujatha need a neat and formal disposal. We have allowed
criminal appeals arising out of SLP(Crl.) No. 180 of 1989 and Criminal Appeal
No. 625 of 1988. In both the upset judgments of Padnamabhan, J. adverse remarks
have been made against Mrs. V Sujatha, the appellant herein.
Those judgments of
the High Court do not remain operative and the judgments and orders passed by
her in both cases have been restored. The adverse remarks in a sense are no
longer legally tenable or existing, but they do stay written in court records
all the same. In the special leave petitions before us, certain new facts have
been sought to be introduced by Smt. V. Sujatha vis-a vis Padmanabhan, J. We do
not, for cause of propriety, since Padmanabhan, J, is not a party before us,
wish to make mention thereof in these proceedings, except to state that it is
suggestive that at one point of time, apparently cordial relations existed
between the two. We are told at the Bar that both of them have since retired.
It has been lamented by learned counsel for Mrs. V Sujatha that her career was
spoiled by such adverse remarks, which remarks the Press blew up beyond
proportions to tarnish her image and name. Be that as it may, this will not
prompt us to do the exercise of culling out and reproducing herein, the adverse
remarks, from the upset judgments of Padmanabhan, J. or to reproduce herein her
grievances in the special leave petitions and record them in this judgment,
again for the sake of propriety, for we must bury and bury deep the harsh and
unnecessary provocative language employed in these documents.
But before we do
that, we do need to say what already has been said by this Court time and
again, for Judges to employ -2- mellow and temperate language in their
judgments, when referring to members of the judicial family. Some of these
cases are as follows :
Mishra v. Mohammad Isa. (SCR at pp.746-47) "In the present case, the High
Court has used intemperate language and has even gone to the length of
suggesting a corrupt motive against the judge who decided the suit in favour of
the appellant. In our opinion, the use of such intemperate language may, in
some cases, tend to show either a lack of experience in judicial matters or an
absence of judicial poise and balance..No doubt, if it is shown that the
decision of the trial court in a given case is the result of a corrupt motive,
the High Court must condemn it and take further steps in the matter. But the
use of strong language and imputation of corrupt motives should not be made
light-heartedly because the judge against whom the imputations are made has no
remedy in law to vindicate his position."
(ii) H. Lyngdoh
v.Cromlyn Lyngdoh. (SCC p.757, para 5) "Before we part with the case, we
were distressed to note certain personal remarks made by the learned Chief
Justice against one of the Hon'ble Judges of that Court. To us these remarks do
not appear to be either proper or just. By making these remarks the learned
Chief Justice has let down his office as well as his court. In the objective
discharge of judicial functions thee is little justification, nay, none-at-all
to assume any attitude other than of judicial restraint or to use a language
while referring to one's colleagues other than that which has been hitherto
adopted by long usage."
(iii) Such restraint
was due even for parties, or their witnesses as seen in A.M. Mathur v. Pramod
Kumar Gupta, -3- referring to the decision of this Court in State of M.P. v.
Nandlal Jaiswal where Bhagwati, C.J., speaking for the Court had observed: (SCC
p.615, para 43) " We may observe in conclusion that judges should not use
strong and carping language while criticizing the conduct of parties or their
witnesses. They must act with sobriety, moderation and restraint. They must
have the humility to recognize that they are not infallible and any harsh and
disparaging strictures passed by them against any party may be mistaken and
unjustified and if so, they may do considerable harm and mischief and result in
Cases need not be
multiplied on the point.
27. Therefore, one of
the main principles is that a judge should take special care in making
disparaging remarks against a judge of a subordinate court or against a person
or authority whose conduct comes in for consideration before him in cases to
be decided by him.
Making uncalled for
remarks against the said persons or authorities would be violation of judicial
For the reasons
aforementioned, we are of the opinion that the impugned judgment, so far as it
relates to adverse remarks made against the appellant as also the directions
issued to the Government of Tamil Nadu to initiate proceedings against him
should be set aside.
The appeal is allowed
[ CYRIAC JOSEPH ]