Karnataka HC Imposes Rs 5 Lac Cost on Retired Civil Judge For Suppressing Facts in Petition

Recently, Karnataka HC imposed Rs 5 Lac cost on a retired civil judge for suppressing facts in the petition

The bench of Justices B. Veerappa and K.S. Hemalekha was dealing with the appeal filed by the appellant who is the aspirant for the post of Chief Information Commissioner and Information Commissioner pursuance to the notification issued by the State Government, challenging the Order passed by the single Judge dismissing the petition filed by him.

In this case, It is the case of the appellant that, in order to fill up the vacant posts in the Karnataka Information Commission, had issued the notification calling applications for the post of Chief Information Commissioner and two posts of State Information Commissioners from the eligible candidates. 

It is the case of the appellant that respondent No.1 has not followed the general directions issued by the Supreme Court in the case of Anjali Bhardwaj and others vs. Union of India and others and selected the candidates arbitrarily without verifying the genuineness of the applications submitted by the candidates. 

The issue for consideration before the bench was:

Whether the Appellant has made out a case to interfere with the impugned Order passed by the single Judge dismissing the writ petition?

The bench observed that the appellant was in judicial service and since he was found to be not suitable to hold the post, was discharged from service. The said fact is suppressed by the appellant and has nowhere stated in the memorandum of writ petition or writ appeal. Therefore, the appellant has not approached the Court with clean hands and the writ petition is liable to be dismissed on the ground of suppression of material facts.

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High Court stated that although the entry to the profession can be had by acquiring merely the qualification of technical competence, the honour as a professional has to be maintained by its members by their exemplary conduct both in and outside the court. The casualness with which some members practice the profession is certainly not calculated to achieve that purpose or to enhance the prestige either of the profession or of the institution they are serving.

The bench stated that “In the present intra Court Appeal filed by the appellant who is a practicing advocate should know his limits and he cannot waste the public time. The whole day is wasted because of the attitude of the appellant. Absolutely there is no material in the present case. The respondent Nos.2 to 4 have been selected by the Selection Committee taking into consideration their eminence in public life with wide knowledge and experience in law, science and technology, social service, management, journalism, mass media or administration and governance, as contemplated under Section 15(5) of the Right to Information Act, 2005. In the absence of any better qualification possessed by the appellant, he cannot contend that the selection of respondent Nos.2 to 4 is bad. The appellant is unnecessarily harassing the respondents who have been appointed legally, in terms of the provisions of the Right to Information Act, 2005.”

In view of the above, the High Court dismissed the appeal with costs of `5,00,000/- (Rupees Five Lakhs only).

Case Title: Mohan Chandra P. v. The State of Karnataka 

Bench: Justices B. Veerappa and K.S. Hemalekha 

Case No.: WRIT APPEAL No.481 OF 2022 (S-RES)

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