While hearing a bail matter, the Madhya Pradesh High Court recently a district judge to be more cautious in his approach so as to save the judiciary from allegations of casteism [Indrajeet Patel v The State].
Justice Vivek Agarwal also directed a warning and a copy of the order to be placed in the judge’s service book.
"Let warning be issued to the concerned Judge Shri Prashant Shukla, First Additional Session Judge, Maihar, District Satna and copy of this order and warning be placed in his service book to be more cautious and judicious in his approach in future so that image of the judiciary can be saved and such allegations of casteism and bias are not allowed to be levied so to tarnish collective image of judiciary," the order stated.
The Court was hearing a second bail application by the petitioner whose first application was dismissed as withdrawn.
The petitioner submitted that the First Additional Sessions Judge at Maihar, District Satna, granted bail to the main accused purely on caste lines. Stolen property was recovered from the main accused, whereas the petitioner’s application was dismissed even though he had been made an accused only based on the memo of the main accused, it was argued.
It was further stated that the Additional Sessions Judge had exercised discretion in an arbitrary and illegal manner, as there were six cases against the main accused and ten against the petitioner, and there was no order of conviction in any of them.
Justice Agarwal considered the order of the district court and found that prima facie, the allegations put forth by the petitioner were substantiated.
“Considering the fact that case of the present applicant is on better footing than Ajay @ Guddu Mishra from whom, a stolen property was recovered, the bail is extended to the present applicant,” the High Court thus ordered
Therefore, the petitioner was directed to be released on bail on furnishing a personal bond in the sum of ₹25,000 with two sureties.
Advocate Uma Shankar Jayaswal appeared for the petitioner while the respondent was represented by Government Advocate Vivek Lakhera.