Chief Justice`s `ration card` takes HC by surprise: DNA

Last Updated: Friday, August 7, 2009 - 09:19

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Thursday was taken by surprise after being shown a ration card issued in the name of Chief Justice (CJ) Swatanter Kumar and a Shivaji Park address. Not only did the ration card have a wrong address but it stated that the CJ had been living in a Dadar building since 2001 whereas he came to Mumbai only in 2007.

The ration card was submitted to the court by advocate Uday Warunjikar to drive home the point that making a bogus ration card was not a difficult task. Warunjikar was representing the Maharashtra Navanirman Sena (MNS) that has filed a petition challenging the order of the Election Commission (EC) allowing ration cards as identity proofs for voters for the Assembly polls in October.

MNS has contested the April 13 order of the EC stating that the ration card cannot be used as an address proof as it has no photograph. Moreover, the MNS has contended that the Centre, state as well as the Reserve Bank of India had declared that ration card cannot be used as a proof of identification.

The ration card was signed and stamped which means that the food supply minister visited the premises in Joglekar Building in the Shivaji Park area and was satisfied that the CJ lived there since 2001.

In 2001, Kumar was a judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court. "The colour of the card was saffron which also indicates that the income of its holder is less than Rs 80,000 a year," Warunjikar said. The court has sought a reply from the state government in one week.

Kumar and Justice AM Khanwilkar were surprises by the ration card issued in the CJ`s name. Both the judges examined the original document after turning it back and forth. "What is this?" CJ Kumar asked government pleader DA Nalavade. They asked him to find out who had done it and take necessary action.



First Published: Friday, August 7, 2009 - 09:19

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