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CHEQUE BOUNS CASE

“Judicial disposition is definitely different from a paper presented for seminar discussion. Nor can it be equated with a dissertation. Judicial decorum requires that judgments and orders should confine to the facts and legal points involved in the particular cases which judges deal with. May be, sometimes Judges would, perhaps wittingly or even unwittingly, jut outside the contours of the litigation, but even such overlappings should be within the bounds of property and sobriety. But there is no justification for traversing so far beyond the canvass as was done by the High Court in this case or to cover areas which are grossly extraneous to the subject-matter of the case. If the subordinate courts are also to be tempted and encouraged to follow suit by traveling far outside the scope of the lis, the consequences would be far too many. Demoralisation of departments would badly erode the already impaired efficiency of our forces. It is time to remind ourselves once again that judgment should confine to the scope of the case.” 16. We are unable to appreciate how this judgment helps learned counsel. Learned counsel submits that there was no justification for the learned single Judge to go beyond the prayer made in the writ petition, namely, with regard to a declaration for payment of the amounts for the work done by the writ petitioner. 17. In this context, it is important to appreciate that for the purposes of determining whether the amounts were required to be sanctioned to the writ petitioner, it was necessary to look into the allegations made by the writ petitioner to the effect that the amounts were not being sanctioned because of a demand of bribe by the appellant and also that despite the payment of bribes to the appellant, the amounts were not being sanctioned. It is, therefore, not correct on the part of learned counsel for the appellant to contend that the learned single Judge had gone beyond the prayer made in the writ petition. 18. For adjudicating the prayer in the writ petition, it was necessary for the learned single Judge to go through the averments made in the writ petition. There were specific averments of the writ petitioner that the appellant demanded and accepted bribes of specific amounts on two occasions. In this context, it was necessary for the learned single Judge to render a finding on the averments made by the writ petitioner for the purposes of grant or denial of relief to the writ petitioner. 19. Under the circumstances, since we are not in agreement with the view canvassed by learned counsel for the appellant, we have no option but to dismiss the appeal and we do so accordingly. 20. Interim application stands dismissed.

This image shows the AP High court located at ...

This image shows the AP High court located at Hyderabad. self-photographed (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

THE HON’BLE THE CHIEF JUSTICE SHRI MADAN B. LOKUR AND

 

THE HON’BLE SHRI JUSTICE

W.A. No.1047 of 2011

1-2-2012

V.Lakshminarayana Varma

Nallam Venkata Lakshmi and others

COUNSEL FOR APPELLANT: Shri G. Vidya Sagar

COUNSEL FOR RESPONDENT NO.1: Shri Y. Pulla Rao
COUNSEL FOR RESPONDENT NOs.2 TO 4 : G.P. for Panchayat Raj &Rural Development
COUNSEL FOR RESPONDENT NO.5 : Shri D.Y.L.N. Chary
COUNSEL FOR RESPONDENT NO.6 :Shri R.Ramachandra Reddy

JUDGMENT: (per the Hon’ble the Chief Justice Shri Madan B. Lokur)

The appellant is aggrieved by an order dt.10.10.2011 passed by the learned
single Judge in W.P. No.31088 of 2010.
2. The appellant was respondent No.3 before the learned single Judge in his
official capacity.
3. The grievance of the writ petitioner was that she had performed some work
for the respondents under a resolution passed by the Gram Panchayat. She was
not being paid the amounts due to her. On the contrary, the respondents, who
were to sanction the amount, were asking her to pay some bribes. According to
the writ petitioner, she paid a bribe of Rs.20,000/- to respondent Nos.3 and 4
in the writ petition, on 22.9.2009 and another sum of Rs.40,000/- to both these
respondents on 29.3.2010. According to the writ petitioner, even though she
paid the bribes to these officials, the amounts due to her were not sanctioned.
4. In view of the serious and specific allegations made by the writ
petitioner, the learned single Judge suo motu impleaded the Director General,
Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB), as respondent No.5 and called for a report.
5. The ACB submitted a preliminary report on 14.3.2011 and a final report on
20.4.2011.
6. The appellant – respondent No.3 filed a counter affidavit in the writ
petition on or about 30.12.2010 denying the various allegations made. It was
also denied that appellant – respondent No.3 had taken any bribe as alleged.
7. After hearing learned counsel for the parties, the learned single Judge
was of the view that the writ petitioner, on merits, has not made out a case,
but in view of the reports having been submitted by the ACB, a case of
prosecution of appellant – respondent No.3 under the provisions of the
Prevention of Corruption Act was made out. Accordingly, the State Government
was directed to initiate appropriate action, both disciplinary and criminal, in
accordance with law against the appellant – respondent No.3 and two others in
the light of the reports given by the ACB.
8. Feeling aggrieved, the appellant – respondent No.3 has preferred this
appeal.
9. First of all, it is submitted that the appellant – respondent No.3 had no
occasion to deny the allegations made against him. On this ground, the order
passed by the learned single Judge is said to be not sustainable.
10. We are unable to appreciate this contention. The appellant was
represented before the learned single Judge and had filed his counter affidavit,
though in his official capacity. The appellant was fully aware of the facts of
the case or is deemed to be aware of the facts of the case, including the
impleadment of the ACB as one of the respondents in the writ petition. That the
appellant was, in any case aware of the impleadment of the ACB as one of the
respondents is apparent from the cause title mentioned in the counter affidavit
filed by the appellant – respondent No.3 before the learned single Judge.
11. Learned counsel for the appellant has referred to two decisions of the
Supreme Court in support of his case that adverse findings could not have been
given against his client.
12. A reference has been made to Niranjan Patnaik v. Sashibhusan Kar1.
Learned counsel has cited paragraphs 24 and 25 of the aforesaid judgment, which
read as follows.
“24. It is, therefore, settled law that harsh or disparaging remarks are
not to be made against persons and authorities whose conduct comes into
consideration before Courts of law unless it is really necessary for the
decision of the case, as an integral part thereof to animadvert on that conduct.
We hold that the adverse remarks made against the appellant were neither
justified nor called for.
25. Having regard to the limited controversy in the appeal to the High
Court and the hearsay nature of evidence of the appellant it was not at all
necessary for the Appellate Judge to have animadverted on the conduct of the
appellant for the purpose of allowing the appeal of the first respondent. Even
assuming that a serious evaluation of the evidence of the appellant was really
called for in the appeal the remarks of the learned Appellate Judge should be in
conformity with the settled practice of courts to observe sobriety, moderation
and reserve. We need only remind that the higher the forum and the grater the
powers, the greater the need for restraint and the more mellowed the reproach
should be.”

13. In our opinion, the cited decision does not advance the case of the
appellant in any manner whatsoever. The writ petitioner made specific
allegations of payment of bribes to the appellant, including specific dates and
amounts. Looking to the nature of the allegations and the specific averments
made by the writ petitioner, the learned single Judge impleaded the ACB as one
of the parties so that the truth in the matter could come out.
14. Given the nature of the allegations it was necessary for the learned
single Judge to find out whether there was any substance in the allegations and
also whether the case made out by the writ petitioner had any substance,
particularly in view of the allegations of corruption made against the
appellant. It is, therefore, not correct that it was not necessary for the
learned single Judge to go into the issue whether the appellant had taken any
bribe from the writ petitioner or not.
15. The second decision cited by learned Counsel for the appellant is State of
Karnataka v. Registrar General, High Court of Karnataka2. Learned counsel for
the appellant has relied upon paragraph 11 of the decision aforementioned. This
reads as follows:
“Judicial disposition is definitely different from a paper presented for
seminar discussion. Nor can it be equated with a dissertation. Judicial
decorum requires that judgments and orders should confine to the facts and legal
points involved in the particular cases which judges deal with. May be,
sometimes Judges would, perhaps wittingly or even unwittingly, jut outside the
contours of the litigation, but even such overlappings should be within the
bounds of property and sobriety. But there is no justification for traversing
so far beyond the canvass as was done by the High Court in this case or to cover
areas which are grossly extraneous to the subject-matter of the case. If the
subordinate courts are also to be tempted and encouraged to follow suit by
traveling far outside the scope of the lis, the consequences would be far too
many. Demoralisation of departments would badly erode the already impaired
efficiency of our forces. It is time to remind ourselves once again that
judgment should confine to the scope of the case.”

16. We are unable to appreciate how this judgment helps learned counsel.
Learned counsel submits that there was no justification for the learned single
Judge to go beyond the prayer made in the writ petition, namely, with regard to
a declaration for payment of the amounts for the work done by the writ
petitioner.
17. In this context, it is important to appreciate that for the purposes of
determining whether the amounts were required to be sanctioned to the writ
petitioner, it was necessary to look into the allegations made by the writ
petitioner to the effect that the amounts were not being sanctioned because of a
demand of bribe by the appellant and also that despite the payment of bribes to
the appellant, the amounts were not being sanctioned. It is, therefore, not
correct on the part of learned counsel for the appellant to contend that the
learned single Judge had gone beyond the prayer made in the writ petition.
18. For adjudicating the prayer in the writ petition, it was necessary for the
learned single Judge to go through the averments made in the writ petition.
There were specific averments of the writ petitioner that the appellant demanded
and accepted bribes of specific amounts on two occasions. In this context, it
was necessary for the learned single Judge to render a finding on the averments
made by the writ petitioner for the purposes of grant or denial of relief to the
writ petitioner.
19. Under the circumstances, since we are not in agreement with the view
canvassed by learned counsel for the appellant, we have no option but to dismiss
the appeal and we do so accordingly.
20. Interim application stands dismissed.

__________________
MADAN B. LOKUR, CJ

__________________

SANJAY KUMAR, J
01-2-2012

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