Samarias Trading Co. Pvt. Ltd. Vs. S.
Samuel & Ors  INSC 206 (9 November 1984)
REDDY, O. CHINNAPPA (J) REDDY, O. CHINNAPPA
(J) SEN, A.P. (J) VENKATARAMIAH, E.S. (J)
CITATION: 1985 AIR 61 1985 SCR (2) 24 1984
SCC (4) 667 1984 SCALE (2)741
CITATOR INFO :
R 1985 SC 330 (1) R 1986 SC 614 (6)
Practice and Procedure-oral application made
to a Judge in Chambers No. written application filed-orders passedNeither facts
nor question of law reasons given in the order-Propriety of.
A sitting in Chambers-When should be held.
A single Judge of the Calcutta High Court, on
an oral application made in his chamber on behalf of a person professing to be
respondent No. 1, and on giving an oral undertaking to make a written
application within 4 days, issued an interim order directing maintenance of
status quo in regard to an auction of a liquor shop held in favour of the
appellant. The said order did not make any attempt to indicate even briefly the
facts, the question of law, if any, raised before the Judge and the reasons
which prompted him to make such an interim order. On receiving the information
about the said order, the appellant contacted the High Court and got the
information that the subsequent writ petition filed by respondent No. I under
Article 226 would be taken up for orders at 2. 30 p.m. On 3. 4. 1984.
While the representatives of the appellant
and their advocate were wailing in the court, they came to know that the matter
had been mentioned in the chamber of the learned Judge who had earlier granted
stay and that the order of status quo had been extended until further orders.
The appellant told the learned Single Judge that they were waiting in the Court
and . Were not informed that the matter was going to be mentioned in his chamber
and in view of this they requested the learned Judge to reconsider his order.
But, the Judge declined to do so. There upon
the appellant filed a Writ Appeal. The Writ Petition filed by respondent no. I
along with the Writ Appeal of the appellant were heard together by a Division
Bench which set aside the auction and directed that a fresh auction be held on
19th April 1984.
Aggrieved by the said order, the appellant
has filed the present appeal.
Disposing of the appeal,
HELD: There is hardly any justification for
the entertainment of an oral application and the issuance of an interim order
with no record whatever of what was submitted to the court of the reasons for
the order made-by the court.
To permit a procedure by which oral
applications may be made and internal orders obtained without any petition in
writing, without any affidavit having been sworn to as prima facie proof of
allegations and without any record before kept before the court may lead to
very serious abuse of the process of the court. Therefore, this Court expresses
its disapprobation and forbids the 25 practice of entertaining oral
applications by any court in matters of consequence A without any record before
it. [29EG] (2) This Court does not mean to suggest that oral application may
never be made. Often during the course of the hearing of a case it becomes
necessary to make applications of a formal nature and such application are
permitted by the Presiding Judge. But in all such cases the court is already
seized of the principal matter or dispute and there is a record pertaining to
it before the 13 court.
Again, this Court does not mean to suggest
that other urgent oral applications may never be made. If urgent interim orders
are imperative, at least skeletal applications setting out the bare facts and
the questions invoked should be insisted upon. A detailed application could be
permitted to be filed later. If the matter is so urgent as not even to brook
any insistence upon a written application, the judge should at least take The
trouble and the care to record in his order the facts mentioned to him and the
submissions made to him. It is essential that there be a contemporaneous
record. Otherwise the court ceases to be a court of record.
[29G-H; 30A-B] (3) A sitting in chambers could
be held when both sides are represented and the sittings are held openly so
that members of the public, if they desire to attend, may have access even in
the chamber. To grant interim orders on oral applications in chambers when the
judge is otherwise sitting in open court for other matters would seriously
reflect on the fairness of the procedure adopted by the courts and may have the
unpleasant effect of undermining public confidence in courts. A public hearing
is one of the great attributes of a court, and courts of this country are
therefore required to administer justice in public. Otherwise, there is a risk
that justice may even be undone. It is not 'as a matter of policy but as a
matter of law' that The hearing of a cause be public except in the limited
class of cases. That rule was violated by the learned Single Judge in this
[3lE;H; 32A.B] Naresh Shridhar Mirajkar &
ors. v. State of Maharashtra
PC 246 referred to.
(4) In the instant case the Court allowed the
reauction to be held on 19th April 1984. Since the highest bidder in the
reauction did not deposit the necessary amount in time as required under the
Rules the Court set aside the reauction. As the appellant offered to take the
shop on lease for a sum of Rs. 30 lacs and the Additional Solicitor General
appearing for the administration of Andaman and Nicobar Islands accepted the
offer. The Court sanctioned the lease in favour of the appellant on the
condition of making the necessary deposit within 10 days from that day. [36B; FG]
& CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION: Civil Appeal No. 4416 of 1984 Appeal by
Special leave from] the Judgment and order dated 4th April, 1984 of the
Calcutta High Court in F. M. A. T. No. 992 of 1983 26 Vasanta Pai, Ms. S.
Vaidalingam and P. J. George for the Appellant.
Bina Gupta for the respondent.
K. G. Bhagat' Addl Sol. General. R. N. Poddar
and M. N. Krishnumani, for the Respondent.
R. Karanjawala and Miss M. Karanjawala for
the applicant in Intervention appln.
K. Parasaran, Atty. General and D. N. Sinha
at request of Court.
The Judgment of the Court was delivered by
CHINNAPPA REDDY, J. "Curiouser and curiouser", Alice would have
certainly exclaimed with us had the mischievous state of affairs of the present
case come to her notice. We confess that the state of affair is but the
inevitable consequence of a most curious procedure said to be followed over the
years by the Calcutta High Court, a practice which we are happy to say, no
other High Court in the country follows, a practice which do put in the mildest
terms is unhealthy and likely to lead to harm and abuse and a practice which we
now propose to forbid in the exercise of our powers under Art. 141 of the
Constitution. The practice, the consequences and our precept will reveal
themselves as we proceed to state the facts. We may mention at the Cutset Act
in response to our invitation the learned Attorney General very graciously
addressed us and indeed made forceful submissions. We are grateful to him to
his valuable assistance.
An auction of the right to sell liquor at
Rangat, Andaman Islands was held on 15. 2. 84 by the Deputy Commissioner, Port
Blair. One B. K. Hariwat was the highest bidder. M/s Samarais Trading Co. Pvt.
Ltd. having an office at Port Blair, the petitioner before us in the Special Leave
Petition, was one of the participants in the auction but not S. Samual, S/o
Swami Das Pillai, 12, Cathral Road, Madras, who figures before us as the first
respondent. As B. K. Hariwat did not deposit fifty per cent of the license fee
as clause 14 of the terms and conditions of the auction, the sale was not
confirmed and the shop had to be auctioned again. The second auction was held
on 28. 3. 1984. At this auction M/s Samarias Trading Co. Pvt. Ltd. was the
highest bidder. The bid was for a 27 sum of Rupees 25 lakhs. S. Samuel also
participated in the auction A but his bid was just over Rupees 17 Lakhs only.
The highest bidder (M/s Samarias Trading Co.
Pvt. Ltd.) deposited sum of Rs. 10,000, 2,50,000 and 9,90,000 on 29. 3.
1984. 28. 3. 1984 and 29. 3. 1984
respectively. The sale was confirmed and shop was awarded to M/s Samarias
Trading Co. Pvt. Ltd. The license was to enure for the period 1. 4. 1984 to 31.
3. 1985. In the meanwhile, things moved at Calcutta on 30. 3. 1984. When the
Court was about to rise for the day Shri Shankardas Banerjee Senior Advocate
mentioned to a learned Single Judge of the Calcutta High Court (Shri Justice
Pyne) that he desired to move an application before the judge in his chambers
after the court rose. The learned judge granted leave and accordingly
Sarvashari S. D. Banerjee, Ashoke Kumar Ganguly and K. K. Bandopadhyay, learned
Advocate purporting to appear on behalf of a person professing to be S. Samuel
moved the learned Single Judge of the Calcutta High Court in his chambers under
Art. 226 of the Constitution and obtained an ex-parte order in the following
terms:"On the oral application of Mr. S. D. Banerjee and upon his
undertaking to move application by Tuesday next there will be an order as
The respondents are directed to maintain
status quo in respect of the liquor shop at Rangat in Middle Andaman and not to
proceed on the basis of the alleged liquor auction held on 28. 3. 1984. The
order will remain in force till Tuesday next. Let a plain copy countersigned by
Asstt. Registrar (Court) be given to the learned Advocate to the petitioner.
Sd/R. N. Pyne." The remarkable fact
worthy of immediate attention is that there was no written application before
the learned Judge. The order of the learned Judge was made on an oral
application and makes not the slightest attempt to indicate even briefly the
facts told him, the question of law, if any, raised before him and the reasons
which prompted him to make the interim order that he did. All that we can
gather from the proceedings and the record of the court is that some oral
application was made, an oral undertaking was given to make a written
application within four days and an interim order was issued by the
court-directing the maintenance of status quo in regard to an. auction of
liquor shops already held.
28 The order does not disclose that the
learned Single Judge was aware that the bid was for such a large amount as Rs.
25 lakhs, that at least Rupees Twelve and half lakhs would have been deposited
by the time the order was made and that the license itself was to take effect
from 1. 4. 1984. What was to happen to the amount already deposited ? Who was to
run the liquor shop from 1/4/1994 ? What security had been taken from the
petitioner to protect the revenue and the other respondents '? We get no
indication from the order. In fact the order made no provision to protect any
one from any resulting mischief. And all this on an oral undertaking given by
an advocate that a petition would be filed on behalf of a party whose very
existence we now find is doubtful, as we shall have occasion to point out
No record, not a scrap of paper, was filed
into court at that stage and no contemporaneous record was prepared by anyone
containing the barest allegations constituting the foundation of the oral
application that was actually made, the written application that was proposed
to be filed and the interim order issued.A most curious procedure indeed for a
court of record to follow ! And, a situation where a judge would have to turn
witness if any dispute arose subsequently as to what the allegations were and
shy the judge made the order ! Shri S. S. Ray, who appeared before us at some
stages of the case, informed us that a practice of this nature of obtaining
interim orders on oral applications subject to undertaking being given
proposing to file written applications later, had always been in vogue in the
Calcutta High Court. It was a matter of great surprise to us that a court of
justice and at that, a court of record, should have been following such a
practice, The learned Attorney General informed us that such a practice was not
followed in any other High Court and he placed before us substantial and
compelling reasons vigorously deprecating such a practice, reasons which have
found favour with us. Shri Lal Narain Sinha, former Attorney General, who
practiced for a considerable length of time in the Patna High Court which
generally inherited, if we may use such an expression, the practice and
procedure of the Calcutta High Court and who happened to be present before us
at another stage of the hearing of the cases and whose assistance we sought and
for which we are grateful to him told us that in his long experience he was not
aware of any such-practice and that such a practice was never followed in the
Patna High Court..................................... We ourselves are
personally familiar with the practice followed in the Madras, Karnataka, Andhra
Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and 29 Rajasthan High Courts and we can assert that
such a practice is not heard of in these courts. Some counsel from Bombay who .
were present before us also told us that no such practice is followed in their
High Court. We do not have the slightest doubt that, if the practice exists anywhere,
it is a most unwholesome practice, likely to lead to vicious and pernicious
results. It is a practice to be strongly deprecated, a practice reminiscent of
the feudal days when the French nobility could procurea lettre de cachet under
the Sovereign's seal authorising a subject's imprisonment without trial and
without mention of any reason. It is a practice which strikes at the very root
of the system of open and even handed justice as we know it and the sooner it
is abandoned the better for the administration of justice.
We express our disapprobation and forbid the
practice of entertaining oral applications by any court in matters of
consequence without any record before it. We do not mean to suggest that oral
application may never be made or entertained by a Court. Far from the contrary.
For example, all applications for adjournment are generally made orally.
Often, during the course of the hearing of a
case it becomes necessary to n make applications of a formal nature and such
applications are permitted by the Presiding judge. But in all such cases the
court is already seized of the principal matter or dispute and there is a
record pertaining to it before the court. But we hardly see any justification
for the entertainment of an oral application and the issuance of an interim
order with no record whatever of what was submitted to the court or the reasons
for the order made by the court. To permit-a procedure by which oral
applications may be made and interim orders obtained without any petition in
writing, without any affidavit having been sworn to as prima facie proof of
allegations and without any record being kept before the court may lead to very
serious abuse of the process of the court. In fact, we have come across
instances in the past where the Calcutta High Court had exercised jurisdiction
in matters in which no part of the cause of action arose within its
jurisdiction, a situation which would surely not have arisen if a written and
not an oral application had been made. Again, we do not mean to suggest that
other urgent oral applications may never be made. If someone is going to be
deported in a few minutes or if some grossly inenquitous act is about to be
perpetrated and any delay would result in the fait accompli of a monstrosity,
urgent oral applications may be moved and urgent interim order issued. If
urgent interim orders are imperative, at least skeletal applications setting
out the bare facts 30 and the questions involve(1 should be insisted upon. A
detailed application could be permitted to be filed later.
Surely a Court would be in a more
advantageous position with something in writing from a party who can take
responsibility for the statements made than an oral submission based on oral
instructions from "God knows who".
If the matter is so urgent as not even to
brook any insistence upon a written application, the judge should at least take
the trouble and the care to record in his order the facts mentioned to him and
the submissions made to him.
It is essential that there be a
Otherwise the Court ceases to be a court of
record. After all there are always two sides to a picture. In the absence of a
petition in writing, in the absence of an order containing a narration of the
facts and the reasons for the orders, what is an affected person to do ? What
allegation is he supposed to meet ? How is he to avert the mischief and damage
which may result from the order ? Is he to await the pleasure of the petitioner
who having obtained an interim order is naturally interested in not filing his
written petition till the very last minute so as to prolong the life of the
interim order and the mischief. One may very well imagine a case where a party
instructs an Advocate to move an oral application before a Judge, obtains an
interim order and disappear from the scene without filing any regular petition.
What is the under taking worth in such an event ? The facts of this very case,
we shall presently point out, have led to such an abuse.
To resume the Stranger-than-fiction story, on
30th March 1984 itself, Shri K.K. Bandhopadhyay, Advocate, Calcutta sent a
telegram to the Deputy Commissioner, District Andaman, Port Blair. informing
him about the order of stay granted by the Calcutta High Court. The Deputy
Commissioner duly informed M/s Samerias Trading Co. Pvt. Ltd. about the stay
granted by the Calcutta High Court.
immediately on receipt of the information,
the representative of M/s Samarias Trading Co. Pvt. Ltd. and their Advocate
went to Calcutta on 2.4. 1984 where they obtained confirmation that a learned
Single Judge of the Calcutta High Court had made an order such as claimed by
Shri K.K. Bandhopadhyay in his telegram. M/s Samarias Trading Co. Pvt. briefed
a senior Advocate, Shri Saktinath Mukherjee to appear before Shri Justice Pyne
The information was that the writ petition
would be taken up for orders at 2.30 P.M. On 3.4.1984. While the representative
of M/s. Samarias Trading Co. Pvt. Ltd and their advocate 31 were waiting in the
court, they came to learn that the matter A had been mentioned to Shri Justice
Pyne in his chamber by Shri Bhola Nath Sen the Senior Advocate representing Mr.
S. Samuel and that the order of status quo had been extended until further
orders. The representative of M/s Samarias Trading Co. Pvt. Ltd. and their
advocate and the Deputy Commissioner of Andamans, all of whom were waiting in
the Court were not told that the matter was going to be mentioned in the
learned Judge's chamber. As soon as they came to know about the continuance of
the order of status quo they requested Mr. Justice Pyne to re-consider the
order but the learned judge declined to do so.
Interrupting our narrative here for a momemt,
we are once again constrained to comment on the peculiar procedure that was
adopted in the case. The reason, we are told, for moving the application in the
chamber of the learned judge instead of in open Court was that Mr. Justice Pyne
was sitting on the original Side in Court and so the application which had to
made on the Appellate Side had to be moved in his Chamber. We are unable to
understand why it should be so and why the application could not be moved in
open court. A sitting in chambers could be held when both sides are represented
and the sittings are held openly so that members of the public, if they desire
to attend, may have access even in the chamber. To grant interim orders on oral
application in chambers when the judge is otherwise sitting in open court for
other matters would seriously reflect on the fairness of the procedure adopted by
the courts and may have the unpleasant effect of undermining public confidence
in courts. Sometimes when a learned judge is sitting in a Division Bench or a
Full Bench, some application may have to be made to him individually in which
case permission is always sought in open Court to move the application in the
chamber. The Registry then prepares a special list, puts it up on the notice
board and before and before the Judge's chamber and also circulates a copy to
the Bar Association.
This procedure is followed in some High
Courts and if such a procedure is followed then alone can we keep up the high
tradition of open justice. A public hearing is one of the great attributes of a
court, and courts of this country are therefore require to administer justice
Otherwise, there is a risk that justice may
even be undone.
As most admirably expressed by
Fletcher-Moulton L.J. in Scott v. Scott Courts of Justice who are the guardians
of civil liberties, ought 32 to be doubly vigilant against encroachment by
themselves. It is not as a matter of policy but as a matter of law' that the
hearing of a cause he public except in the limited class of cases with which we
are not now concerned. Th It rule was violated by the learned Single Judge in
After all the administration of justice is a
vital concern first of public more than any private party, the public has a
right to present in court and watch the proceeding and its conduct except in
the very rare cases where the very cause of advancement of justice requires
that proceeding be held in camera. In Naresh Shridhar Mirajkar & ors. v.
State of Maharashtra & Anr.(1) it was observed by this Court as follows:"It
is well-settled that in general, all cases brought before the Courts, whether
civil, criminal or others, must be heard in open Court. Public trail in open
court is undoubtedly essential for the healthy, objective and fair
administration of justice. Trial held subject to the public scrutiny and gaze
naturally acts as a check against judicial caprice or vagaries, and serves as a
powerful instrument for creating confidence of the public in the fairness,
objectivity, and impartiality of the administration of justice.
Public confidence in the administration of
justice is of such great significance that there can be no two opinions on the
broad proposition that in discharging their functions as judicial Tribunals,
courts must generally hear causes in open and must permit the public admission
to the court-room. As Bentham has observed:
"In the darkness of secrecy sinister
interest, and evil in every shape, have full swing. Only in proportion as
publicity has place can any of the checks applicable to judicial injustice
operate. Where there is no publicity there is no justice. Publicity is the very
soul of justice. It is the keenest spur to exertion, and surest of all guards
It keeps the Judge himself while trying under
trial (in the sense that) the security of securities is publicity". (Scott
v. Scott) In Mc pherson v. Mc pherson, (2) the Judicial Committee observed (1)
[1966l 3 s.C.R 744.
(2) AIR 1936 PC 246.
33 "Moreover the potential presence of
the public almost necessarily invests the proceedings with some degree of
formality. And formality is perhaps the only available substitute for the
solemnity by which, ideally at all events such proceedings,...... should be
That potential presence is at least some
guarantee that there shall be ascertain decorum of procedure These are some of
the considerations which have led their Lordships to take a more serious view
the absence of the public from the trial of this (divorce) action that has
obtained in the Courts below. influenced by them their Lordships have felt
impelled to regard the inroad upon the rule of publicity made in this instance unconscious
thought it was-as one not to b.. justified and now that it has been disclosed
as one that must be condemned so that it shall not again be permitted." To
resume the narrative M/s Samarias Trading Co. Pvt. Ltd. immediately filed a
Writ Appeal under the Letters Patent before the Division Bench consisting of
Mr. Justice M M. Dutt r. and Mr. Justice Ajit Kumar Sen Gupta. The matter was
mentioned before the Division Bench at 3 4S l'.M. By consent of parties the
Writ Appeal filed by M/s Samaries Trading Co. Pvt. Ltd. and the Writ Petition
filed by Samuel were both directed to be listed for hearing before them on 4.
4. 1984. With great difficulty M/s Samarias Trading Co. Pvt. Ltd. were able to
get a copy of the writ petition at that stage. The Division bench disposed of
both the writ petition and writ appeal finally on 4 4. 1984 itself. The order
of Division Bench was in the following terms:
"By consent of parties, we treat the
appeal as on day's list. As prayed for by the learned Advocates for the
parties, we also treat the Writ Petition as on day's list.
After hearing the learned Advocates for the
parties and after considering the facts and circumstances of the case, we are
of the view that the auction for vending of liquor that has been held should be
set aside. Accordingly, we set aside the auction and direct the Deputy Commissioner
of Andaman and Nicobar Islands to hold a fresh auction on the basis of the new
terms and conditions that have already been circulated, being annexure to the
Writ Petition. The auction will be held on the 19th, April, 1984 at 11 A. M. at
the Conference Hall, Deputy Commissioner's office, at Port Blair. The reserved
price for the auction of the liquor shop is fixed at Rs. 30,00000 (thirty
lacs). It must he made clear that the period for which the auction of the
liquor shop will be held will be from 22nd April,1984 till 31st of March, 1985.
The auction will be advertised once in the
Statesman in Calcutta and once in the Indian Express in Madras at least five
days before the auction.
In the event the reserved price of rupees
thirty lacs is not bid, in that case, the writ petitioner undertakes to this
Court that he will take the license at the reserved price of rupees thirty lacs
and in that event the appellant under takes to this Court not to carry on the
business of liquor after the 21st of April, 1984.
The participants in the bid will be at
liberty to take with them their respective Advocates The appellant shall be
liable to pay to the Administration the proportionate license fee for the days
in the month of April upto 21st of April, 1984 during which he will carry on
the business of liquor on the basis of his offer already made, that is, Rs. 2500000
(Twenty five lacs) for one year. The Deputy Commissioner is directed to refund
to the appellant the amount of the deposit which he has made in respect of the
disputed auction loss the proportionate license fee for the days for which he
will carry on business in the month of April upto 21st April, 1984 immediately
the day on which the appellant starts vending liquor.
Further, the Deputy Commissioner shall issue
necessary orders enabling the appellant to carry on the liquor business till
21st April, 1994.
35 The appeal and the writ appeal are
disposed of as above. There will be no order for costs.
The appellant does not admit the allegations
made in the writ petition.
Let plain copies of this order countersigned
by the Assistant Registrar (Court) he given to the learned Advocates for the
On the next day, the order was modified as
follows: This matter has been mentioned by both the parties for the purpose of
rectifying one clerical mistake. It is directed in modification of our order
dated April, 4 1984 that in the event the reserve price of Rs.
30,00000 (thirty lacs) is not bid, in that
case, the writ petitioner undertakes to this Court that he will take the
license at the reserved price of 30, 00000 and, in that case, the appellant
undertakes to this Court not to carry on the business of liquor at Rangat,
Middle Andmans, pursuant to the existing license after the 21st April, 1984.
If, however, any new license is granted to the appellant pursuant to the
auction that will be held on the 19th April, 1984, the appellant will, of
course, be able to carry on the business of liquor at that place upto 31st
Our order dated 4th April, 1984 is modified
to the above extent and the rest of the said order will stand".
Aggrieved by the order of the Calcutta High
Court M/s Samarias Trading Co. Pvt. Ltd. filed the special leave petition out
of which the present appeal arises on 11. 4.
1984. One George Joseph claiming to be
"working for gain with Respondent No. 1, Shri Samuel" filed a counteraffidavit
purporting to be on behalf of Respondent No. 1. At the first hearing of the
special leave petition on 17.4.
1984, Shri S. S. Ray, Senior Advocate,
appeared for the respondent No. 1. On that day, the learned counsel appearing
for the M/s Samarias Trading Co. Pvt. Ltd. produced before us an affidavit dated
16. 4. 1984 purporting to be that of S. Samuel in which he disclaimed that he
ever instructed any one to file any writ peti36 tion in the Calcutta High Court
on his behalf. This affidavit appeared to destroy the very foundation of the
order of the Calcutta High Court. The genuineness of the affidavit was however,
disputed by Shri George Joseph, who Was present in court and S. S. Ray, senior
advocate appearing on behalf of S. Samuel. In that situation we directed the
issue of notice to all parties and bound over George Joseph to appear before us
at the next hearing. We directed that S. Samuel should be present before us at
the next hearing. We also directed that the re-auction, as ordered by the
Calcutta High Court, should be held on April 19, 1984, but that the sale should
not be confirmed. The matter came before us again on April 26, 1984. We were
told that the re-auction had fetched a bid of Rs. 36 lakhs and 80 thousand . We
were also told that because of our direction that the sale should not be confirmed,
the amount required to be deposited within 48 hours could not be deposited. We,
therefore, directed the highest bidder to deposit the amount required to be
deposited under the rules on or before April 30,1984. Fresh notices were issued
to S. Samuel and we instructed the Registry to mention in the notice that if
Samuel failed to appear at the next hearing, a non-bailable warrant would be
issued for his arrest. We also issued a notice to Dr. D. K. Banerjee, Advocate
who prepared the affidavit filed by Mr. S. Samuel, in the Calcutta High Court
to appear before us on may 3, 1984. George Joseph was bound over to appear
before us. He was also directed to file an affidavit setting out the full facts
of the case which were within his knowledge. At the next hearing on May 3,
19..4, we were informed that Subramaniam had breached the undertaking given to
us on April 26, 1984 that he would deposit the amount required to be deposited
by the rules before April 30, 1984. We, therefore, had no option but to set aside
the auction.. Fortunately the petitioner, M/s. Samarias Trading Co. Pvt. Ltd.
offered to take the shop on lease for a shop of Rs. 30 lakhs and the Additional
Solicitor General appearing for the administration of the Andaman and Nicobar
Islands accepted the offer. The lease was sanctioned by us subject to the
petitioner making the necessary deposit within 10 days from that day.
On August 7, 1984, George Joseph failed to
appear before us notwithstanding that he had executed a bond undertaking to be
present before us. We therefore, directed the issue of a non-bailable warrant
against him for his production before us on August 23, 1984 Mr. Samuel was also
bound over to appear before us on August 37 23, 1984. On that day, Shri K.K.
Bandopadhyay filed a statement before us seeking to explain the circumstances
under which he appeared before Mr.Justice Pyne to assist Shri Ashok Kumar
Ganguly. He is a junior advocate working in the chambers of Shri Mahitosh
Majumdar at whose instance it was that he was asked to assist Shri A.K.
Ganguly. He was told that Shri S.D. Benerjee, senior advocate, would make an
oral application. He met a group of people, one of whom claimed to be S.
Samuel. A consultation was held by Shri A.K. Ganguly and the gentleman holding
himself out as Samuel with Shri S.D. Banerjee in his presence in the court
premises at about 3.15 p.m. On the same day. Thereafter Shri S.D. Banerjee
entered the court room of Mr. Justice Pyne and moved an unlisted motion before
the hon'ble judge at 4.00 p.m. when the court was about to rise. Shri S.D.
Banerjee sought the permission of the hon'ble judge to move the matter in the
chamber of the hon'ble judge by way of an oral application. Leave was granted
and the application was moved before the learned judge in his chamber at 4.10
p.m. Shri A.K. Ganguly and Shri K.K Bandyopadhyay appeared along with Shri S D.
Banerjee. That evening the gentleman who held himself out as S. Samuel and two
or three others met Shri K.K. Bandyopadhyay and the latter requested Shri M.
Lahiri, advocate to draft a writ petition. The two of them prepared the writ
petition and got it ready for filing on April 3,1984. S. Samuel also handed
over a Vakalatnama to him. On 3rd, the said gentleman appeared before the oath
Commissioner and the papers were duly lodged as Mr. Justice Pyne was sitting on
the original side on April 3,1984 according to Shri Bandyopadhyay. The oral
application had to be moved in the chamber of the learned judge. Accordingly,
Shri B.N.Sen, senior counsel, moved the application assisted by Shri Lahiri and
Shri Bandyopadhyay. Later the matter was mentioned in court on behalf of M/s.
Samarias Trading Co. Pvt. Ltd. before the Division Bench and an oral prayer was
made for suspending the order of Mr. Justice Pyne. Both the writ petition and
the appeal were directed to be listed on the next day.
As we thought it imperative that George
Joseph should be present before us, we adjourned the matter to August 23,1984
for his production. On August 23,1984, when the matter was next taken up,
George Joseph continued to be absent and a non-bailable warrant was issued for
his arrest and production on September 11, 984. Mr. Samuel was also bound over
to be present in the court 38 on September 11, 1984. We also now have before us
the affidavits of S/Shri S. D. Banerjee, B. N. Sen, M. Mazumdar and A. K.
Ganguly of the Calcutta Bar explaining the facts and circumstances pertaining
to the proceedings that took place in the Calcutta High Court. Their affidavits
which confirming the facts already narrated by us, disclose that none of them
personally knew Samuel, as indeed one may not expect an advocate to know every
client of his personally.
They were like others, taken for a ride, if
one may be permitted to use so common an expression. Their affidavits only
emphasise what we have already said about the undesirability of making oral
applications of consequence before courts with nothing placed in the court's
record to vouch for the authenticity of the facts forming the basis of the
representations made to the court, etc. So far as this appeal is concerned,
there is nothing further to be done by us we have now sanctioned the lease of
the liquor shop in favour of the appellants for the year April 1, 1984 to March
31, 1985. We are, however, informed by the petitioner that though the lease has
been confirmed in their favour from April l, 1984 to March 31, 1985 for a sum
of Rs. 30 lakhs, the administration of the Andaman Nicobar Islands, is
demanding from them a sum of Rs. One lakh and odd towards the lease for the few
days that they ran the liquor shop after April 1, 1984 under the orders of
Calcutta High Court, calculated at the rate of Rs. 25 lakhs per year. We are
unable to see any justification for the demand since the lease as sanctioned
and as confirmed is admittedly for the entire period April 1, 1984 to March 31,
1985 for Rs. 30 lakhs. The demand is directed to be withdrawn. The appeal is
allowed in the terms indicated. A notice will however issue to George Joseph to
show cause why he should not be committed for contempt of court for breaching
the undertaking given by him. A nonbailable warrant will also issue for his
production before us. Since the real Samuel has disclaimed all responsibility
in the matter and since we do not know who was the person who represented
himself as Samuel before the Calcutta High Court, we are unable to award costs