Read Judgment: B. Sailesh Saxena v. Union of India & Ors

Pankaj Bajpai

New Delhi, September 6, 2021: Surprised by the brazenness of the petitioner to ensure that the elevation of the respondent(then Registrar of High Court of Telangana) does not take place on the account of criminal proceedings initiated by him, the Supreme Court said that hindrance created by the petitioner in the process of appointment of judges to the High Court, amounts to gross abuse of process of law.

While dismissing the petition with costs of Rs. 5 lakhs, the Division Bench of Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice M.M Sundresh observed that the endeavour of the petitioner as one of harassing the respondent and abusing the court proceedings is a counterblast to the series of criminal complaints in which persons belonging to the “so-called noble profession got involved”.

The observation came pursuant to a petition filed by an advocate (enrolled in the Bar Council of Telengana since the year 2000) seeking writ of Mandamus or an appropriate writ directing Union of India, State of Telangana and Registrar (Vigilance & Administration) of the High Court of Telangana to consider the representation submitted by the petitioner and take necessary action as per law for proceeding further with the proposal of appointment of the respondent as a Judge of the High Court for the State of Telangana.

In short, the petitioner had prayed that the recommendation of the respondent should not be processed for his elevation as a Judge of the High Court.

It was alleged that an FIR at the instance of the Registrar was filed in pursuance to a direction issued by High Court and thus, in effect the case of the petitioner there was that multiple FIRs were being filed with a view to harass the petitioner.

After considering the arguments, the Top Court found that the respondent as the responsible officer only followed the direction passed by the Judge of the High Court and thus the High Court opined that what the petitioner was attempting to do was to seek an investigation into the allegation that the evidence collected by the investigating officer in criminal complaints filed against him as fabricated and that was found to be nothing but a deflection towards derailing the course of investigation in the complaints lodged against the petitioner.

The process of appointment of judges to the High Court is under a well-known established process where the collegium of the High Court considers recommending the names and in case of judicial officers by seniority and on merits. Thereafter, the proposed IB inputs and other inputs are obtained and the Government processes the names. The collegium of the Supreme Court has the benefit of all the material before taking a call on whether to recommend the name or not. The appointment takes place thereafter by issuance of warrants of appointment”, observed the Top Court.

“We consider the endeavour of the petitioner as one of harassing the respondent No. 4 and abusing the court proceedings and since nothing else seems to deter the petitioner in such endeavours, we are of the view that appropriate imposition of costs seems to be the only solution”, added the Court.

Therefore, the Apex Court dismissed the petition with costs of Rs. 5 lakhs and called the Bar Council of Telangana to examine the conduct of the petitioner as a member of the “Noble Profession”.

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