In a contempt petition filed by the Petitioner against the Judicial Magistrate,
the High Court observed that the Judicial Magistrate did not acknowledge any of
the superior courts judgments that are binding on him. Thus, the Bombay High
Court instructed the Sessions Judge to monitor all the judgments and orders
passed by the magistrate for one year0. This was laid down in the case of Yogesh
Waman Athavle Vs. Vikram Abasaheb Jadhav & Ors.
, Contempt Petition No. 127
The facts of the case are that the Petitioner is an advocate practicing in the
court of the Judicial Magistrate that is the Respondent in the case. The
Petitioner contented that on several occasions the Petitioner cited and
submitted judgments of the superior courts but the Magistrate wilfully ignored
the judgments and failed to follow precedents laid down by the superior courts.
The Petitioner presented 4 instances where the Magistrate consistently and
wilfully did not follow the binding precedent laid down by the superior courts.
Hence, the Petitioner filed a contempt petition against the Magistrate under
Article 215 of the constitution and several sections of the Contempt of Court's
Act, 1971. The Respondent had argued that the actions of the Magistrate have
already been noted and he has been summoned and counseled by the Principal Judge
of the district.
The Division bench of the Bombay High Court took note of the actions of the
judicial magistrate and stated that the actions of the magistrate display non
application of the ‘judicial mind'. The court further stated that:
“We prima facie intuitively feel that learned Counsel for the petitioner is
right when he laments approach of respondent No.1 vis-a-vis the above-noted
authorities/ pronouncements. Common sense would prompt the conclusion that
respondent No.1 ought to have carefully gone through the decisions and the ratio
laid down therein and then would have formed an opinion about the applicability
or otherwise of the same.”
The court did not take any action against the magistrate as there was no
unwarranted remarks by him and nor was there any wilful disobedience by him.
However, the High Court instructed the Principal District and Sessions Judge to
review the performance of the Magistrate and to review all his judgments and
orders for a period of one year and in case of any misconduct the same must be
reported to the High Court.
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