Wrong interpretation or distinction of its judgment and that of Supreme court by subordinate court amounts to disobedience of their orders, therefore, contemptuous, the High Court had observed.
The Supreme Court has refused to expunge some remarks against a judicial officer made in a Rajasthan High Court order and upheld a disciplinary enquiry against the judge based on the said order, apparently for not obeying the dictum in the apex court and high court orders.
Not following precedent amounts to disobedience
The judicial officer had approached the apex court against the high court order, which said wrong interpretation or distinction of its judgment and that of the Supreme Court by a subordinate court amounts to disobedience of their orders, therefore, contemptuous.
It also shows that legal knowledge or appreciation of judgment of the Hon’ble apex court, of the first appellate court is very poor, the high court had remarked. The high court had further said the judicial officer without considering the ratio laid down in apex court and high court judgments, made distinction in a cursory manner, which is not proper for a judicial officer.
HC has only stated legal position
The division bench comprising Justice Kurian Joseph and Justice AM Khanwilkar observed that the high court has mainly stated the legal position, making it clear that the judicial officers are bound to follow the judgments of the high court and also the binding nature of the judgments of the apex court.
“We do not find any observation in the impugned Judgment which reflects on the integrity of the appellant,” the bench said.
Disciplinary proceedings for not following precedents
At this juncture, the counsel submitted before the apex court bench that based on this judgment, disciplinary proceedings have been initiated against the judicial officer by the high court. However, the apex court observed that the high court can continue disciplinary proceedings against the judge and finalise it expeditiously.
Even a wrong order by a judge should not be visited with adverse remarks against him
Last year, in another similar instance, a bench headed by Justice Kurian Joseph, while expunging the adverse remarks in a high court order against a district judge, had said that even a wrong order by a judge should not be visited with adverse remarks against him.