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In Re: Dr. A. Appaiah Panthulu - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtAndhra Pradesh High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported in1970CriLJ281
AppellantIn Re: Dr. A. Appaiah Panthulu
Excerpt:
.....mention of certain things, then anything not mentioned is excluded. - on a third occasion the learned judge forfeited a bond executed by the petitioner for failure to attend court. i am satisfied that the remarks are not the outcome of any prejudice and i also hasten to add that i would not in any case be justified in taking note of allegations not borne out by the record of the case. 2. it is now well established that the high court has jurisdiction under section 561-a of criminal procedure code to expunge objectionable remarks from the judgments of subordinate courts, but that this power should be exercised with great circumspection as undue interference may affect the free and fearless performance of their duties by judges and magistrates and the freedom and candour of their..........hospital. yellamanchili has filed this application for expunction of certain remarks made by the learned sessions judge of visa-khapatnam adversely criticising the evidence of the petitioner given in sessions case no. 26/1966. the offending passages are contained in paragraphs 38 and 43 to 47 of the judgment of the learned sessions judge. it is submitted by the petitioner that on account of certain earlier incidents the learned sessions judge was prejudiced against the petitioner and that the remarks are the outcome of the learned sessions judge's prejudice. it is said that on a previous occasion when the petitioner gave evidence before the learned judge the learned judge found fault with his dress. on another occasion when the learned judge visited the sub jail at yellamanchili he.....
Judgment:
ORDER

Chinnappa Reddy, J.

1. Sri Appayya Panthulu, Civil Assistant Surgeon, Government Hospital. Yellamanchili has filed this application for expunction of certain remarks made by the learned Sessions Judge of Visa-khapatnam adversely criticising the evidence of the petitioner given in Sessions Case No. 26/1966. The offending passages are contained in paragraphs 38 and 43 to 47 of the Judgment of the learned Sessions Judge. It is submitted by the petitioner that on account of certain earlier incidents the learned Sessions Judge was prejudiced against the petitioner and that the remarks are the outcome of the learned Sessions Judge's prejudice. It is said that on a previous occasion when the petitioner gave evidence before the learned Judge the learned Judge found fault with his dress. On another occasion when the learned Judge visited the Sub Jail at Yellamanchili he noted that the Medical Officer did not visit the Sub Jail that day though there were sick prisoners. On a third occasion the learned Judge forfeited a bond executed by the petitioner for failure to attend Court.

The petitioner alleges that on that occasion he could not attend Court as he had to-perform an urgent post mortem examination and that he duly informed the Sessions Judge of the same. The order of forfeiture was later set aside by the High Court. The petitioner suggests that the remarks made by the learned Sessions Judge are the outcome of prejudice born, out of these several incidents. To say the least, I consider that the suggestion is very unfair. There is nothing to indicate that the learned Sessions Judge boreany illwill towards the petitioner or had any sort of animus against the petitioner. I am satisfied that the remarks are not the outcome of any prejudice and I also hasten to add that I would not in any case be justified in taking note of allegations not borne out by the record of the case.

2. It is now well established that the High Court has jurisdiction under Section 561-A of Criminal Procedure Code to expunge objectionable remarks from the judgments of subordinate Courts, but that this power should be exercised with great circumspection as undue interference may affect the free and fearless performance of their duties by Judges and Magistrates and the freedom and candour of their expression of opinion regarding the veracity of witnesses giving evidence before them. Mudholkar, J. has pointed out in Raghubir Saran v. State of Bihar : 1964CriLJ1 , as follows:

When the question arises before the High Court in any specific case whether to resort to such undefined power it is essential for it to exercise great caution and circumspection. Thus when it is moved by an aggrieved party to expunge any passage from the order or judgment of a subordinate Court it must be fully satisfied that the passage complained of is wholly irrelevant and unjustifiable, that its retention on the records will cause serious harm to the person to whom it refers and that its expunction will not affect the reasons for the judgment or order.

In the same case Subba Rao, J. (as he then was) observed:

I reiterate that every judicial officer must be free to express his mind in the matter of the appreciation of evidence before him. The phraseology used by a particular Judge depends upon his inherent reaction to falsehood, his comparative command of the English language and his felicity of expression. There is nothing more deleterious to the discharge of judicial functions that to create in the mind of a Judge that he should conform to a particular pattern which may, or may not be, to the liking of the appellate Court. Sometimes he may overstep the mark. When public interests conflict, the lesser should yield to the larger one. An unmerited and undeserved insult to a witness may have to be tolerated in the general interests of preserving the independence of the judiciary. Even so, a duty is cast upon the Judicial 'Officer not to deflect himself from the even course of justice by making disparaging and undeserving remarks on persons that appear before him as witnesses or otherwise. Moderation in expression lends dignity to his office and imparts greater respect for judiciary.

Both Mudholkar, J. and Subba Rao J. approved the following observations of Chagla, C. J., in State v. Nilkanth : AIR1954Bom65 (FB):

It is very necessary, in order to maintain the independence of the judiciary, that every Magistrate, however junior, should feel that he can fearlessly give expression to his own opinion in the judgment which he delivers. If our Magistrates feel that they cannot frankly and fearlessly deal with matters that come before them and that the High Court is likely to interfere with their opinions, the independence of the judiciary might be seriously undermined.

3. Bearing these principles in mind I have carefully examined the remarks made by the learned Sessions Judge. I cannot say that any of the remarks made by the learned Sessions Judge are irrelevant or not pertinent to the enquiry before him. All the remarks deal with the evidence given before him by the petitioner and are germane to the case which he was trying. It may be that a Court of appeal may not agree with all the criticism of the learned Sessions Judge; it may be that a Court of appeal may not agree with the appreciation of evidence by the learned Sessions Judge, but that will not justify an order expunging the remarks. In the result the petition is dismissed.


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