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Mass leave by Judges: notice to Registrar

By Our Legal Correspondent

NEW DELHI, APRIL 27 . The Supreme Court yesterday issued notice to the Registrar of the Punjab and Haryana High Court on a public interest litigation petition to call for the records relating to the mass casual leave availed of by 25 of its 27 Judges on April 19.

A Bench of Mr. Justice S.N. Variava and Mr. Justice H.K. Sema issued the notice on the petition filed by advocates, S.S. Dahiya and R.K. Rathore. The petitioners had submitted that in an unprecedented action, the 25 Judges had collectively applied for one-week casual leave from April 19 for reasons best known to them. (All the Judges reported for work the next day after the apex court intervened).

They said the Judges' action had shaken the confidence the citizens reposed in the judiciary and the judicial system. It also violated the provisions of the Constitution and all legal ethics. Such an action amounted to a strike by the Judges.

They said the puisne judges of the High Court were not entitled to take such a decision, which indicated that they were reacting against any act of omission committed on the part of the system, which they did not like.

Describing it as an unprecedented incident that had happened in the Indian judiciary, the petitioners sought a direction to the High Court Registrar to submit all the records pertaining to the incident.

Three of the Judges, Mr. Justice G.S. Singhvi, Mr. Justice V.K. Bali and Mr. Justice H.S. Bedi were summoned by the Chief Justice of India on Sunday and " severely admonished."

Go on leave again

PTI reports from Chandigarh:

The three Judges summoned by the CJI yesterday were on leave today, sources in the High Court said.

The Joint Registrar (Judicial), M.M.S. Bedi, who was recently designated PRO of the Court, said that the reason for the Judges' action was not known. Mr. Bedi said two other Judges, Mr. Justice Nirmal Singh and Mr. Justice Jasbir Singh, were also on leave today.

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