H.R. Khanna, J.
1. This is an application by Ranbir Singh under Section 526 of the Code of Criminal Procedure seeking transfer of two cases, one under Sections 409, 467 and 477A, Indian Penal Code, and the other under Sections 467 and 466, Indian Penal Code, pending against the petitioner in the Court of Shri Salig Ram Seth, Assistant Sessions Judge, Delhi.
2. A number of allegations have been made by the petitioner to show that the trial Court is prejudiced against him and that he would not have a fair trial, but, in my opinion, it is not necessary to go into all of them as there is material on the record to indicate that the learned Assistant Sessions Judge is prejudiced against the petitioner. The petitioner has stated in the application that on 19th October, compromise in the latter case requires Regis 1965 the evidence of a witness, whose name was probably Attar Singh, was taken on the lawyer's table in the Court room, while the learned Judge simultaneously heard arguments in another case. The record of the evidence was dictated by the Special Public Prosecutor and during cross-examination the defence counsel dictated a part of the answers. The Special Public Prosecutor took exception to that and rushed to the learned Judge saying that the opposite counsel had not properly dictated the answers. The Judge thereupon remarked 'Don't worry, after all the case has to be decided by me.
3. Comments of the trial Judge with regard to the allegations made in the application were called and he has not expressly denied the allegation that the evidence in the ease against the petitioner of a witness was recorded on the lawyer's table while he was hearing arguments in another case. This practice of leaving the recording of the evidence to the Public Prosecutor and the defence counsel, and of hearing arguments in another case, cannot but be deprecated. The recording of evidence is a vital part of the trial and it is essential that the evidence should be recorded under the direct supervision of the Presiding Officer because he has not only to look to the demeanour of witnesses in giving replies but has also to see that no irrelevant material comes on the file and that the replies of the witnesses are recorded correctly.
4. The learned Assistant Sessions Judge, while sending the comments with regard to the allegations made in the application, has stated at one place with regard to the petitioner's allegation: 'Obviously lie has no legs'. In another place the learned Judge has remarked:
'That the petitioner admits in this para that he being a Lambardar has the experience of various Courts. It appears that taking advantage of that experience he has not hesitated in going against the record '
When this Court called for the comments of the learned Judge it was with a view to have his factual reply with regard to the allegations made in the application and not to invite remarks and opinions about the allegations the kind of which have been given expression to in the comments. The above remarks do tend to show that the learned Assistant Sessions Judge is prejudiced against the petitioner The Presiding Officer of a Court sits on a high pedestal and though an allegation made in the transfer application is not correct he should not beyond making a factual denial of the allegation cast aspersions and make gratuitous and unnecessary remarks. In case he does so he enters the arena of controversy and is likely to give the impression of being prejudiced which can give rise to a genuine apprehension that the petitioner may not have even-handed justice. It is a cardinal rule that justice should not only be done but should manifestly be seen to be done
I, accordingly, direct that the two cases against the petitioner be transferred from the Court of Shri Salig Ram Seth to that of Shri Jawala Nath Verma, Assistant Sessions Judge. The accused-petitioner is directed to appear in the Court of Shri Jawala Nath Verma on 15th February 1966.