Tahasildar’s petition claimed that the departmental inquiry initiated against him was in breach of guidelines issued by the CJI.
Mumbai: An inquiry against a judicial officer can be initiated without filing an affidavit and a written complaint, the Bombay high court has said.
The court turned down a petition by a civil judge (junior division) contending that submission of an affidavit and written complaint must precede an inquiry. A division bench of Justices R.M. Savant and S.V. Kotwal, on May 4, dismissed the petition by Asif Tahasildar, challenging a July 15, 2017, high court order, initiating departmental inquiry against him on two different charges.
The first charge was for Tahasildar’s alleged misuse of official position to cause wrongful gain for himself and loss to the state exchequer when he was a civil judge in Jalna district. The second charge was for Tahasildar allegedly assaulting a person and threatening to imprison him in a false case when he was a judge in Kolhapur.
Tahasildar’s petition claimed that the departmental inquiry initiated against him was in breach of guidelines issued by the CJI, which mandated a written complaint accompanied by a duly sworn affidavit against a judicial officer before initiation of inquiry.
The bench observed that in both cases, before initiating the departmental inquiry proceedings, the principal judges of the courts concerned (Jalna and Kolhapur) had carried out discreet inquiry and had also taken the petitioner's reply into consideration.
The high court registrar passed the order initiating departmental inquiry only after receiving reports from the principal judges concerned, the court said.