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R.P. Patel Vs. the State of Gujarat and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtGujarat High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported in1978CriLJ1192; (1978)GLR18
AppellantR.P. Patel
RespondentThe State of Gujarat and anr.
Excerpt:
.....the said allegations are going to be inquired into as there is an application pending against the learned magistrate, i do not enter into the said allegations but from the report of the magistrate it appears that magistrate has tried for a compromise and he has called the applicant and applicant's father and the advocates in his chamber and intervened and the magistrate by his conduct wanted to see that applicant should go to opponent's place and thereupon the apprehension which the applicant makes in her mind that, as the compromise has failed, the learned magistrate would not be in a position to deliver the judgment in accordance with law as objectivity will be lost. but even at the cost of being placed in a situation in which he was misunderstood, it was his duty to make a well-meant..........uncalled for and warrant interference at the hands of this court in order to make amends to the learned magistrate so that one who is concerned with the administration of justice himself does not suffer from a sense or feeling of injustice. it appears that the learned magistrate. shri r.p. patel, ll. m., made a bona fide effort in order to bring about reconciliation between a husband and wile in a proceeding for maintenance pending in his court. now, the learned sessions judge has made certain observations which would go to show that according to him there is some impropriety on the part of the magistrate in calling the parties to his chamber and in making an effort to bring about a reconciliation between the husband and wife. says the learned sessions judge in the course of his.....
Judgment:
ORDER

M.P. Thakkar, J.

1. Not infrequently one who attempts to do his best conscientiously gets a slap on the cheek rather than a pat on the back as is revealed by the present proceedings arising out of observations made and strictures passed by the learned Sessions Judge, Bhavnagar, against a Judicial Magistrate, First Class, subordinate to him in the course of a transfer application instituted in his Court. The observations and strictures appear to be exteremely unfair and uncalled for and warrant interference at the hands of this Court in order to make amends to the learned Magistrate so that one who is concerned with the administration of justice himself does not suffer from a sense or feeling of injustice. It appears that the learned Magistrate. Shri R.P. Patel, LL. M., made a bona fide effort in order to bring about reconciliation between a husband and wile in a proceeding for maintenance pending in his Court. Now, the learned Sessions Judge has made certain observations which would go to show that according to him there is some impropriety on the part of the Magistrate in calling the parties to his Chamber and in making an effort to bring about a reconciliation between the husband and wife. Says the learned Sessions Judge in the course of his judgment:

Magistrate has denied all the allegations, but the fact remains that the Magistrate cannot deny the fact that he had called the applicant's father in his chamber and applicant's advocate in his chamber and he has also called the applicant and persuaded the applicant to go to the opponent's house to reside with him. These facts are admitted. Now, it was none of the business of the Magistrate to call parties inside the chamber and to persuade them to take a particular course of action. It appears from the report of the Magistrate that the Magistrate has taken a side of one party against the other. And without going into the details of the allegations, as the said allegations are going to be inquired into as there is an application pending against the learned Magistrate, I do not enter into the said allegations but from the report of the Magistrate it appears that Magistrate has tried for a compromise and he has called the applicant and applicant's father and the advocates in his chamber and intervened and the Magistrate by his conduct wanted to see that applicant should go to opponent's place and thereupon the apprehension which the applicant makes in her mind that, as the compromise has failed, the learned Magistrate would not be in a position to deliver the judgment in accordance with law as objectivity will be lost.

It is not at all possible to subscribe to the view of the learned Sessions Judge that it is none of the business of the Magistrate to call parties inside the Chamber and to persuade them to a particular course of action, namely, to bring about reconciliation. In fact, in my opinion, it is the bounden duty of a Judge whenever he comes across a proceeding having its roots in a matrimonial dispute to persuade the husband and the wife to sink their differences and to save their matrimonial ship from wrecking. Acting on behalf of the society which invests him with the power and the glory attached to his office it is his duty to strive for mending of a home rather than non-chalantly watch the breaking of a home. It was much easier and much less troublesome for the Magistrate to have decided the matter one way or the other on the basis of the evidence adduceed before him than to have made an effort to bring about amity between the two spouses by taking a fatherly interest in their welfare. But the learned Magistrate considered it his higher duty to restore happiness amongst the members of the household which was about to break instead of being content by deciding a mere factual or legal issue. The learned Magistrate ought to have been complimented for undertaking upon himself a more onerous burden than of merely deciding a matter. He was working for a noble and laudable object. It is possible that in so doing the illiterate, ignorant and narrow-minded litigants (who know not what they are doing) may misunderstand him. But even at the cost of being placed in a situation in which he was misunderstood, it was his duty to make a well-meant effort with a view to bring about reconciliation between them. For doing so he deserved compliments and not brickbats. May be the learned Sessions Judge was justified in transferring the matter on reaching the conclusion that it was necessary to do so in order that not only justice was done but justice appeared to have been done. But he ought to have realised that it is not merely the appearance of doing justice which matters. Whether in reality justice is done or not that matters most and the learned Magistrate was trying to do exactly what would be required of a conscientious judicial officer. He was not inter-meddling in the domestic dispute just for the sake of pleasure. It was, therefore, very unfair for the learned Sessions Judge to observe that it was none of the business of the learned Magistrate. There was nothing wrong in what the learned Magistrate did. Not only there was nothing wrong in it, but every conscientious Judge ought to do so. And if the learned Sessions Judge is not doing likewise, he should better follow the example of the learned Magistrate and make a bona fide sincere attempt in such matters whenever possible in order to bring about a really happy and lasting re-conciliation. Returning to the matter at hand, I believe a great wrong has been done to the learned Magistrate by making the unwarranted remarks and strictures against him in the course of the judgment. The learned Sessions Judge could have easily disposed of the transfer application without entering upon this course of unwarranted criticism and without passing strictures against the learned Magistrate. By adopting such a course the learned Sessions Judge has caused unnecessary distress to the learned Magistrate who was merely trying to do his duty in the best possible manner.

2. The revision application is, therefore, partly allowed. The remarks and strictures passed by the learned Sessions Judge against the learned trial Magistrate in the aforesaid passage extracted from his judgment are directed to be expunged from the record of the case. Rule is made absolute to this extent.


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