New Delhi, May 11: Holding that corrupt members of the subordinate judiciary should be "thrown out", the Supreme Court on Tuesday came down heavily on a woman judge calling her a "super Supreme Court" for defying its order.
"You can't take the Supreme Court as a joke. People are looking at judges with suspicion. Today, all sort of things like 80 per cent of the subordinate judiciary are corrupt are being said, which is very shameful", fumed a two-member bench of the apex court comprising Justice Markanday Katju and Justice Gyan Sudha Misra.
The bench directed disciplinary action against Delhi's Additional District Judge Archana Sinha rpt Sinha for defying its order and stayed the eviction proceedings against the tenant Udham Singh Jain Charitable Trust, Central Delhi, despite the fact that the Supreme Court in an order on October 6, 2010, had dismissed the tenant's plea.
"Archana Sinha had no business to defy our order and she has become a super Supreme Court", the bench said.
The apex court said it was constrained to say that a certain section of the subordinate judiciary in the country is bringing the whole judiciary of India into disrepute by passing orders on extraneous considerations.
"We do not wish to comment on the various allegations which are often made to us about what certain members of the subordinate judiciary are doing but we do want to say that these kind of malpractices have to be totally weeded out.
"Such subordinate judiciary judges are bringing a bad name to the whole institution and must be thrown out of the judiciary," Jusice Katju, writing the judgement, said.
At one stage, the bench threatened to send the judge to jail and suspend her but after Sinha profusely apologised and pleaded for mercy, after which the apex court decided to refer the matter to the Delhi High Court Chief Justice for necessary action.
"We will send you to jail. We will suspend you," the bench remarked orally.
But later it relented and referred the judge's case to the Chief Justice of the high court.
The packed court also witnessed the spectacle of the tenant vacating the disputed premises within one hour of the deadline fixed by the apex court at 11.25 am and the warning that if the tenant failed to vacate forthwith he would be sent to jail.
The counsel, appearing for the tenant exactly after an hour, told the court that the tenant has vacated.
The apex court had on October 6, 2010, dismissed the tenant's appeal against the high court direction asking the trust to vacate the premises. The tenant gave an undertaking that he would would vacate the premises within six months by April 6, 2011.
However, thereafer, the tenant filed a proxy petition through another person claiming to be a sub-tenant and managed to obtain a stay on the eviction proceedings from the court of Archana Sinha on April 23.
Aggrieved, the landlord filed the contempt petition.
Reacting sharply to the defiance of its order, the apex court said "it seems to us that in this country certain members of the subordinate courts do not even care for orders of this Court. When this Court passed an order dated 6th October, 2010, granting six months' time to vacate, the contemnor Archana Sinha, Additional District Judge, had no business to pass the order dated 23rd April, 2011, but instead she has stayed the warrants of possession, meaning thereby that she has practically superseded our order and overruled us."
The apex court said that in India often litigations between the landlord and tenant often reach the Supreme Court.
"And when the tenant loses in this Court, then he starts a second innings through someone claiming to be a co-tenant or as a sub-tenant or in some other capacity and in the second round of litigation the matter remains pending for years and the landlord cannot get possession despite the order of this Court.
"The time has come that this malpractice must now be stopped effectively, the bench said. The apex court also regretted that the counsel appearing for the tenants also do not give proper advise to the clients in such matters.
"After our order dated 06th October, 2010, the counsel of the tenant should have advised the tenant to vacate the premises in question like a gentleman before or on the expiry of six months from 06.10.2010 but unfortunately they advised the tenant to put up some other person claiming independent right against the landlord as a sub-tenant and start a fresh round of litigation to remain in possession. In this manner, our order dated 6th October, 2010, was totally frustrated," the bench remarked. PTI