JUDGES USE POWER TO ISSUE NON BAILABLE WARRANTS FOR SADISTIC PLEASURE: APEX COURT

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The Supreme Court has stayed a Delhi High Court’s direction asking a sessions judge to undergo a refresher course in criminal law for not following the correct judicial procedure in a bail case. The court expressed its displeasure that judges were issuing nonbailable warrants irresponsibly and using their powers for drawing “sadistic pleasure”.

“It is atrocious (the practice of issuing nonbailable warrants (NBWs) indiscriminately),” a bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan said. The bench was hearing a petition of Delhi’s additional sessions judge (ASJ) R K Tiwari, against whom the High Court had passed the direction.

Senior advocate Dushyant Dave and Rajeev Sharma mentioned the petition and sought expunction of the strictures passed by the HC against the ASJ.

The High Court on October 5 had slammed the ASG saying “he does not even have elementary knowledge of criminal law” and that he should be sent to a judicial academy.

The apex court, which asked the ASG to approach the High Court within two weeks for expunction of the remarks against the ASJ, disapproved of the growing tendency among the lower court judges to issue NBWs indiscriminately.

“It will have a serious consequence. Don’t magistrates know the basic of criminal law and that judges have to be responsible. When we pass an order we must be aware of its consequences,” observed the bench, also comprising Justices R V Raveendran and V S Sirpurkar. “An NBW cannot be issued simply for seeking praise and (drawing) sadistic pleasure,” the bench said, adding that “this is not the way for them to show powers of a magistrate”.

“This will have serious civil consequences,” the bench said, referring to some of the recent judgements passed by the apex court asking subordinate courts to exercise their powers carefully while issuing NBWs.

In his defence, ASJ Tiwari maintained that no explanation was sought from him before the High Court made observations against him. Tiwari has worked for 13 years as a public prosecutor and is a teacher in the same judicial academy where he has been ordered to undergo a refresher course by the High Court.

Justice V B Gupta of the High Court had criticised Tiwari for directing the police to initiate the process of declaring an accused a proclaimed offender in an electricity theft case despite a High Court stay on it.

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