Judicial Officer Having Sound Knowledge Of Law But Lacking Integrity, Having Dubious Character, Is A Great Danger To Judiciary: Orissa High Court

first_imgNews UpdatesJudicial Officer Having Sound Knowledge Of Law But Lacking Integrity, Having Dubious Character, Is A Great Danger To Judiciary: Orissa High Court Sparsh Upadhyay21 March 2021 5:03 AMShare This – xUnderlining that an officer having sound knowledge of the law but lacking in integrity or having a dubious character, is a great danger to the smooth functioning of the judiciary, the Orissa High Court last week upheld the order of compulsory retirement passed in connection with a Judicial Officer. The Bench of Chief Justice Dr. S. Muralidhar and Justice B. P. Routray was hearing the…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginUnderlining that an officer having sound knowledge of the law but lacking in integrity or having a dubious character, is a great danger to the smooth functioning of the judiciary, the Orissa High Court last week upheld the order of compulsory retirement passed in connection with a Judicial Officer. The Bench of Chief Justice Dr. S. Muralidhar and Justice B. P. Routray was hearing the case of one Rama Chandra Mohanty, a Judicial Officer, who sought the quashing of an order of compulsory retirement and for all consequential service benefits. The matter before the Court While serving at Koraput as a Civil Judge (Sr. Division), he was directed to retire in public interest with effect from 22nd March, 2010 vide Notification dated 9th March, 2010 of Government of Orissa in Law Department. During his tenure, two departmental proceedings were initiated against the Petitioner. In the first proceeding, in the year 2003, five charges were framed relating to unauthorized retention of Government quarters, deliberate delay in making payment of bills towards the purchase of law journals for Bolangir Judgeship, etc touching to gross misconduct and failure in due discharge of duties under Rules 3 and 4 of the Orissa Government Servant Conduct Rules, 1959. In respect of other departmental proceedings, the charge against the Petitioner was that, he availed a loan in the name of one of his Class-IV servants without his knowledge and consent and did not repay the same till a complaint was made by the said Class-IV employee. Court’s observations At the outset, the Bench observed that judicial officers of the subordinate courts in the State are under the administrative control of the High Court in terms of Article 235 of the Constitution of India. Further, the Court also observed that they are different from other civil servants and that a single blot in their service record makes them vulnerable and thus, they are expected to have a good character in all respects. The Court further remarked, “Needless to say that the object of compulsory retirement is to weed out the dishonest, the corrupt, and the deadwood. It is true that if an honest and sincere judicial officer is compulsory retired, it might lower the morale of his colleagues. Equally, an officer having sound knowledge of the law but lacking in integrity or having a dubious character, is a great danger to the smooth functioning of the judiciary.” Significantly, the Court also said, “What is to be weighed is the performance of the officer on an overall evaluation of his entire service period. Above all, his impartiality, reputation, integrity, as well as moral character, should be taken into account.” Apart from this, the Court perused the personal file of the Petitioner and noted that the personal record of the Petitioner does not support his contention that he had an unblemished career as a judge. Significantly, the Court also opined, “The pending disciplinary proceedings against him, the nature of charges framed thereunder, and the entries made in the CCRs, as well as the nature of complaints seen from the personal file, all present a picture that at oddly with what the Petitioner has sought to project. Not only the adverse remarks, which were duly communicated to him, but at other materials on record justify the impugned order of compulsory retirement.” Case title – Rama Chandra Mohanty v. State of Orissa & another [Writ Petition (Civil) No. 19435 of 2010] Click Here To Download JudgmentRead JudgmentNext Storylast_img read more