Vs. State of M.P  INSC 464 (29 October 1993)
P.B. SAWANT, P.B. YOGESHWAR DAYAL (J) CITATION: 1994 AIR 1031 1994 SCC Supl.
(1) 540 JT 1993 (6) 287 1993 SCALE (4)305
1.This is a petition by a judicial officer who at the relevant time was an
Additional Sessions Judge, for expunging remarks which were made against him by
the High Court while reversing the orders of bail passed by him in
Miscellaneous Criminal Case Nos. 816 and 466 of 1991.
undisputed facts are that the accused in those cases are charged with the
offences punishable under Sections 147, 148, 149, 506, 341 and 302 of the
Indian Penal Code. A charge-sheet was being processed in respect of the
offences in the court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate at the relevant time.
The five accused in the meanwhile, applied for bail. Their application was
considered on merits and rejected by the petitioner. However, in spite of the
rejection of the application on merits, the petitioner first granted the accused
temporary bail for one reason or the other and all of them were subsequently
granted permanent bail. Against the order granting permanent bail, the
complainant preferred an application to the High Court and prayed for
cancellation of the bail. The State did not file a separate application but
supported the complainant's application and also pressed for the cancellation
of the bail. The High Court discussed the case of each of the five accused who
were granted bail and pointed out that on facts there was no justification for
granting bail to any of them and by its order of July 13, 1991 cancelled the
bail of all the accused. However, while passing the order, the High Court made
the following observations:
fact that the final grant was made without hearing the State Government and
without verifying the fact, points to the interestedness of Shri K.P. Tiwari,
learned First Additional Sessions Judge in the non- applicants. Indeed this
interestedness is apparent in all the five cases. The impression that one gets
is that Shri K.P. Tiwari, First A.S.J. has been won over by the non-applicants
and therefore was open to write any judgment, or order, releasing non-
applicants on bail. It is therefore a case where the non-applicant (sic) not
only hav e shown disregard to law and the judicial process but are also
reasonably suspected of exercising corrupt influence over Shri K.P.
the First A.S.J. This Court has necessarily to recall such orders.
it (court) will be failing in its duty if it accepts corrupting influence of
the non applicants (sic) and permits illegal orders to remain effective." 3.There
is no doubt that the High Court was fully justified in cancelling the bail
granted by the petitioner.
fact, on the facts and circumstances on record, 542 we are not at all satisfied
that there was any case in favour of the accused for releasing them on bail.
are, however, impelled to remind the learned Judge of the High Court that
however anguished he might have been over the unmerited bail granted to the
accused, he should not have allowed himself the latitude of ignoring judicial
precaution and propriety even momentarily. The higher courts every day come
across orders of the lower courts which are not justified either in law or in
fact and modify them or set them aside. That is one of the functions of the
superior courts. Our legal system acknowledges the fallibility of the judges
and hence provides for appeals and revisions. A judge tries to discharge his
duties to the best of his capacity. While doing so, sometimes, he is likely to
err. It is well said that a judge who has not committed an error is yet to be
born. And that applies to judges at all levels from the lowest to the highest.
the difference in views of the higher and the lower courts is purely a result
of a difference in approach and perception. On such occasions, the lower courts
are not necessarily wrong and the higher courts always right. It has also to be
remembered that the lower judicial officers mostly work under a charged
atmosphere and are constantly under a psychological pressure with all the
contestants and their lawyers almost breathing down their necks - more
correctly up to their nostrils. They do not have the benefit of a detached
atmosphere of the higher courts to think coolly and decide patiently. Every
error, however gross it may look, should not, therefore, be attributed to
improper motive. It is possible that a particular judicial officer may be
consistently passing orders creating a suspicion of judicial conduct which is
not wholly or even partly attributable to innocent functioning. Even in such
cases, the proper course for the higher court to adopt is to make note of his
conduct in the confidential record of his work and to use it on proper occasions.
The judges in the higher courts have also a duty to ensure judicial discipline
and respect for the judiciary from all concerned. The respect for the judiciary
is not enhanced when judges at the lower level are criticised intemperately and
castigated publicly. No greater damage can be done to the administration of
justice and to the confidence of the people in the judiciary than when the
judges of the higher courts publicly express lack of faith in the subordinate
judges for one reason or the other. It must be remembered that the officers
against whom such strictures are publicly passed, stand condemned for ever in
the eyes of their subordinates and of the members of the public. No better
device can be found to destroy the judiciary from within.
judges must, therefore, exercise self-restraint. There are ways and ways of
expressing disapproval of the orders of the subordinate courts but attributing
motives to them is certainly not one of them. That is the surest way to take
the judiciary downhill.
therefore, accept the petition and expunge the above quoted remarks from the
judgment of the learned Judge of the High Court delivered on July 13, 1991 in Misc.
Case Nos. 816 and 466 of 1991. The petition is allowed accordingly.