The Allahabad High Court dismissed the objection raised by the Additional Solicitor General of India Ashok Nigam on Monday. According to Nigam, the petitioner had no locus standi to challenge the appointment of Dr Satish Chandra as the High Court judge.
The Division Bench, comprising Justice Shushil Harkauli and Justice Vikram Nath, has decided to hold day to day hearing on the petition filed by Advocate M C Gupta, which alleges that the appointment is unconstitutional.
The court accepted the plea of the Counsel for the petitioner Senior Advocate Ravi Kiran Jain for a day to day hearing with a rider. In this case, if either of the two judges was absent, the case would be heard on the next date.
In a significant development, president of the Allahabad High Court Bar Association V C Mishra requested the court to allow the association to become a party to the case. He informed the court that the bar had decided to intervene in the case and would file an application on Thursday.
Additional Solicitor General of India Ashok Nigam and Sambhu Chopra, Counsel for the Union of India, and S P Gupta, Counsel for the Allahabad High Court, were also present. Earlier, two division benches of the court had refused to hear the case.
In his petition, Gupta alleged that Dr Satish Chadra had neither put in 10 years of practice as a High Court advocate nor had he held a judicial office under the HC, as per the norms of the Constitution.
The petitioner says:
Counsel for the petitioner, meanwhile, said that information on the official website of the High Court about Satish Chandra was scanty, as compared to the information available on other judges. Only one relevant fact revealed on the website regarding Satish Chandra was that he had worked as a judicial member of the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal. The petitioner searched the official website of the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal, Jaipur, where his personal profile and career profile was fed. The petitioner found that the career profile of Satish Chandra baffling and full of gaps and loose ends. For instance, it does not mention as to from where he obtained his LLB, LLM or LD degrees. It also does not throw any light on his career as an advocate. Nine years from 1975 to 1984 are explained by mentioning that either he was with the Law Commission of India or was the constitutional advisor to the Government of Zanzibar. In between, he has also taught in certain law colleges, names of which have not been mentioned. The petitioner challenged the information that of Chandra being a High Court judge of Zanzibar, Tanzania. His name was also not enrolled as a High Court bar member, said the petitioner. Being a member of the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal as per terms in Section 252 of the Income Tax Act, does not amount to holding a judicial office belonging to the judicial service of the High Court.
Source: Vijay Pratap Singh Expressindia