Friday, March 05, 2010

Court attendance by highly placed persons

-      Adv. R. P. Rathod.
Advocate High Court, Mumbai.

          It is not understood why politicians, bureaucrats and officers of police department generally as a routine do not attend courts when cases are registered against them or they are summoned as witnesses. There is no rescue and one cannot avoid attending court in any circumstance. Perhaps some times it is advocates who do not give good advice to them. Because of this Umabharati lost it’s  C.M.’ ship. She was certainly ill advised. It is always quoted that because of loss of nail the war was lost.

          Once the then President of India had of his own accord appeared before the Court to depose in an Election Petition though he was exempted from appears in courts. The simple principle is that when a summons is issued to such persons in a criminal case then the person may without attending the court concern move an application through an advocate to the court for permanent exemption from appearance and the court usually grants exemption and requires attendance only at the time of examination of the accused and delivery of judgment. If bailable warrant is issued then as a routine also in normal course bail is being granted and there is nothing to worry. They should attend the courts and get bail done and exemption from appearance obtained. There appears to be misunderstanding in these persons that by not appearing in courts they may avoid future calamities. The result is that ultimately the warrants of arrest are being issued and these persons are forced to appear and unwanted criticism through media appears.

          Recently one SIMI extremist was released on bail as person like Home Secretary of state govt. did not attend the court for evidence though he had knowledge of the same. The Home Minister is trying to save him and saying that there was some misunderstanding and wants to justify the act of the Home Secretary. It is not proper and unjustified. The Home Secretary did not intimate the court in proper manner. This also shows the disregard by such highly placed persons. It is to be remembered that order of the court is order and it is to be complied with without any ifs and buts. It is not to question why, it is not to reason why but it is to do or die. If anyone is not satisfied with the order of the court person is at liberty to move proceedings before superior court to set aside the order of the lower court but so long as the order is not set aside it is to be complied with.

          What is happening is in spite of the contempt proceedings the officials do not comply with the orders and try to put counter arguments and commit contempt. The government and the law ministers do not take care of the same and see that the orders of the courts are complied with in words and spirit. It is the lethargy of C.Ms. that helps the other ministers, leaders and bureaucrats to ignore the orders of the courts. Such persons deserve jail sentence and fine both. The courts must also be reasonable in granting exemption from appearance, and granting bail to such persons and bailable or non-bailable warrants are not issued unless required.

          Secondly when summons are issued to the highly placed persons who are not expected to open and pursue the mail should be served with summons with a Demy Official Letter of request to make personal knowledge of the summons etcetera as per the provisions of Order 5 Rule 30 of the Code of Civil procedure. This can equally be applied in criminal cases by analogy. This will also help the courts to dispose of the cases quickly.

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