Lowering of standard of judiciary & selection of Judges on consideration other than fitness

Patna High Court
Equivalent citations: AIR 1960 Pat 430, 1960 CriLJ 1254
Author: Misra
Bench: S Misra, K Sahai, H Chaudhuri

JUDGMENT

Misra, J.

1.   This proceeding has been started against Sri Basanta Chandra Ghosh, an Advocate of this Court, to show cause why he should not be committed for contempt of Court in respect of an article published in the latest morning edition of the Searchlight, a Patna daily, in its issue of March 8, 1959. The article was published under the caption “Recommendations of Law Commission”. The High Court took notice of the article and accordingly the above rule was issued on the 7th of April, 1959. The article deals with certain matters relating to the judicial administration of the High Court. The occasion for the article was the publication of the report of the Law Commission appointed by the Government of India whose report came out duly and was published in the press.

2.   The writer, who described himself as “Basant Chandra Ghose”, made comments on the judicial administration of the High Court in various matters. In some of his comments he referred to the recommendations of the Law Commission with approval and in certain other matters he expressed his disagreement with the recommendations of the Law Commission but, on the whole, the article appeared to the High Court to be an independent animadversion on the judicial administration of the High Court with occasional reference to the recommendations of the Law Commission.

In the notice issued to him, the following passages from the article were specifically mentioned as constituting contempt of Court, specially the Patna High Court, although reference was made to the tone of the entire article as being derogatory to the dignity, independence and impartiality of its judicial administration. The impugned passages run thus :

“Very few in this country acquainted with the working of the judiciary would honestly differ from the report of the Law Commission on the unsatisfactory method of recruitment of Judges, the lowering of standard of judiciary and selection of Judges on consideration other than fitness as also with that part of the report which deals with the executive influence on the judiciary”.

 

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