New Delhi: A sitting Gauhati High Court judge in Assam has filed a petition with the Supreme Court seeking the removal of “certain disparaging remarks” made against him by a high court bench while reviewing a terror-related case he had presided over as a special NIA court judge.
The Supreme Court bench of justices AS Bopanna and PS Narasimha has agreed to hear the plea and has issued a notice to the National Investigation Agency (NIA). The case will be listed “without disclosing the identity of the petitioner” and will be heard further on November 10.
In his plea, filed through advocate Somiran Sharma, the judge seeks the removal of “certain disparaging remarks” made against him in the high court verdict dated August 11.
The high court had acquitted multiple persons who were earlier convicted for alleged offences under various provisions of the Indian Penal Code and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act by the trial court.
The judge said on May 22, 2017, he in “his capacity as the Special Judge, NIA, Guwahati, Assam, delivered Judgement in Special NIA Case… convicting the accused persons for various offences under the IPC and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 and the Arms Act, 1959”.
The judge argues that the high court’s remarks were not necessary for deciding the appeal and have deeply hurt his reputation.
He further states that the high court has failed to adhere to well-settled principles while criticizing the judgment of the subordinate court.
The judge emphasizes the complexity of the terror-related case and maintains that there cannot be “mathematical precision” in the appreciation of evidence.
He also points out that he assumed the role of the NIA judge at a late stage in the trial and that his role was confined to presiding over the arguments.
The judge concludes by stating that the critical remarks have caused irreparable harm to his reputation and could adversely affect his career in the future.
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