Bangalore: Karnataka High Court on Thursday rejected the interlocutory application filed by former state DGP Shankar Mahadev Bidari praying that his plea seeking reinstatement, be referred to a different bench.
Rejecting the application, a Division Bench headed by Chief Justice Vikramajit Sen referred it back to the same bench which had heard the matter earlier.
On May 17,a Division bench, comprising Justice N Kumar and Justice H S Kempanna, referred the matter to be placed before the Chief Justice.
Asked whether bench headed by Justice N Kumar had recused themselves from hearing the matter, senior counsel SN Chandrashekhar representing Bidari said they had not done so and only referred the matter to be placed before the Chief Justice for appropriate orders.
"If they recuse themselves, then it is an administrative action. It can be referred to a different bench, it is not a problem. If they don`t, we are not an appellate court....If a CJ has to take back a case every time a bench is not willing to hear it, it is doomsday", the bench headed by the Chief Justice said.
"In these circumstances, we think it proper to post the writ petition and all pending portions before the same bench for taking a decision as to whether the lordships comprising that bench would think it appropriate to recuse themselves from the matter", the bench observed.
The bench sought to know from counsel whether filing an Interlocutory Application will not amount to "bench hunting."
"If there is going to be bench hunting, I will not do it.... Go back to the bench", the Chief Justice said.
"In what capacity do you expect the Chief Justice to move one case from one bench to another bench. We are not an appellate court", the bench said.
Senior counsel submitted that he was not indulging in bench hunting and that he was not given an opportunity to make submissions on his IA.