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#RecusalWatch:Nine Supreme Court judges recuse from 12 cases

Bar & Bench

It is now pre-vacation season in the Supreme Court, during which most cases get adjourned only to be heard after the summer vacation. Recusals by judges further aggravate this trend, as litigants and counsel have no clue as to which bench is likely to hear their cases after the vacation.

Last week [April 24-28], Bar & Bench found that nine Judges recused from hearing 12 cases, due to various reasons.  Here are the details:

Justice Deepak Gupta recused from hearing a civil contempt petition (369/2013), Dalip Singh v P.C.Kapoor & Anr, listed before Justice Madan B Lokur and himself on April 24. This pertains to a service matter – regularisation of ad-hoc employees etc. – in which the State of Himachal Pradesh was the appellant, and which was disposed of on May 7, 2013. The Supreme Court had directed the State of Himachal Pradesh to implement the order of the High Court, to regularize daily wage labourers, and not to deny them the benefits they were entitled to, within a period of three months.

Justice Gupta was a judge of the Himachal Pradesh High Court from October 2004, and remained its Acting Chief Justice twice, before he was elevated as the Chief Justice of the High Court of Tripura on March 23, 2013. As the High Court order was passed during this period, he recused from hearing this case. The matter will now be listed before another bench on July 10.

Justice Uday Umesh Lalit recused from hearing a civil SLP, (11322/2007), Committee of Management & Ors, State of Uttar Pradesh & Ors, listed before Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel and himself on April 28. This arose out of a judgment of Allahabad High Court on April 16, 2007, and pertains to service matters – recruitment/transfer/compassionate appointment. The matter will now be listed before another bench on July 14.

He also recused from hearing a civil appeal, Telco Now Tata Motors Ltd v Vipin Kumar & Ors, (4927-4928/2008), listed before the same bench on April 27. It pertains to matters relating to consumer protection. It was previously heard by Justices Adarsh Kumar Goel and Deepak Gupta on April 20.

Justice Mohan M Shantanagoudar recused from hearing a criminal SLP, [3920/2015] Amanath Hussaini Mulla v State of Karnataka, arising out of a judgment of the Karnataka High Court on December 17, 2014.

Justice Shantanagoudar was a judge of the Karnataka High Court between 2003 and 2016.

The matter was subsequently listed before Justices Pinaki Chandra Ghose and Rohinton Fali Nariman on May 2, when it posted for further hearing on July 6.

Justice S Abdul Nazeer recused from hearing a civil writ petition, Suraksha Foundation v UOI, [793/2015] listed before Justice J Chelameswar and himself on April 28. The case has already witnessed two recusals earlier, as reported by Bar & Bench. Justice Nazeer is the fourth Judge to recuse from this case. The previous recusals from the same case were by the Chief Justice JS Khehar and Justices Dipak Misra and Sanjay Kishan Kaul.

Justice RK Agrawal recused from hearing a civil SLP, (CC 8681/2017),  Bhagwan Bhajnashram Trust Vrindavan and Anr v Thakur Vijay Raghav Ji Brijman Mandir Badamath Ramghat, arising out of a judgment of the Allahabad High Court dated September 17, 2016. The case pertains to religious and charitable endowments, and was listed before himself and Justice Sapre on April 28.

Justice L Nageswara Rao recused from hearing a civil SLP, State of Punjab v Satbir Singh & Ors, (21530/2010), arising from a judgment of the Punjab and Haryana High Court on September 23, 2009, and listed before Justice Bobde and himself on April 28. It will now be listed before another bench on July 17.

He also recused from hearing Jishu Jain v State of West Bengal, a Criminal Appeal (1220/2011), listed before the same bench on April 27. Justice Rao heard the case once earlier, while Justice Lalit had recused from hearing the same case on March 21. The case arose out of a judgment of the Calcutta High Court dated July 9, 2010 (CRA 257/2007).

Justice Prafulla C Pant recused from hearing two Criminal Miscellaneous Petitions in a Criminal Appeal, Dalbir Singh & Anr v State of Uttarakhand, [469/2013], listed before Justice NV Ramana and himself on April 24.

Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel recused from hearing a civil SLP, Shrimoni Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee v Jasvir Singh & Anr, (30857/2014), listed before himself and Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul on April 24. This is a service matter which arose out of a judgment of the Punjab and Haryana High Court on July 15, 2014. This will now be listed before another bench on August 4.

Justice Goel also recused from hearing another civil SLP, Biswajit Prasad v Gauhati High Court & Ors (21592/2013), listed before the same bench on April 24.  This pertains to service matters (recruitment/transfer/compassionate appointment), and arose out of a judgment of the Gauhati High Court on February 8, 2013. This will now be listed before another bench on July 14.

Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman recused from hearing a civil SLP, Asian Natural Resources (I) Ltd (Formerly known as Bhatia International Ltd) v Vitol S.A., (813/2015), listed before himself and Justice Sapre on April 26. This is an arbitration matter, arising out of a judgment of the Bombay High Court on September 15, 2014, and will be listed before another bench on May 8.

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