Prosecution of lower court judge: HC has final say, not Guv
Mumbai: The Chief Justice of the High Court has the last say when it comes to sanctioning prosecution of a lower court judge, and the decision would be binding on the Governor, the Bombay High Court has held.
"In cases where the Chief Justice of the High Court has decided not to prosecute judge of a subordinate court, the question of processing the proposal any further would not arise.... The proposal seeking prosecution must stand terminated on expression of negative opinion by the Chief Justice," said the division bench of justices AM Khanwilkar and AR Joshi in a recent ruling.
The bench heard a petition by Devendra Doctor, which had challenged an order passed by the Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court on February 3, refusing sanction to prosecute a lower court judge on corruption charges.
The petitioner had contended that Governor was the competent authority to sanction the prosecution, and the proposal to prosecute could not be shot down even if Chief Justice gives it a thumbs down.
But the then Advocate General, Darius Khambata, argued that Chief Justice`s opinion was binding on the Governor in this matter.
Dismissing the petition, the HC referred to a Supreme Court judgement, where the apex court had held that High Court has a complete control over subordinate courts, and Governor could exercise powers only in the matters of appointment, initial posting and promotion to the post of District judges.
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