The Supreme Court on Friday issued notice in an appeal filed by a district judge from Bihar challenging his suspension by the Patna High Court..Additional Sessions Judge at Araria Shashi Kant Rai was suspended for, among other reasons, convicting and sentencing a man to life imprisonment for sexual assault of a minor after having heard the case for one day, and for issuing a death sentence after hearing a case for four days..When the matter was heard today, the Bench of Justices UU Lalit and S Ravindra Bhat said,"You have heard and sentenced the accused to life imprisonment in a single day. It does not happen like this. Pendency is one issue and approach to a matter is a different issue."Appearing for the judge, Senior Advocate Vikas Singh pleaded,"Disciplinary proceeding they say is pending. But there is no such proceeding. It is only a show cause notice which was served. Please reconsider my suspension."However, Justice Lalit noted,"We have been trying to devise methods to assess mitigating factors on death sentence and they have to see the prison records. Here, this judge has passed death sentence in 4 days."Despite Singh's submissions that the death sentence was issued in a case where a Dalit child had been murdered, Justice Bhat said,"We cannot get into binaries. There is a system of rewards for prosecution to have death sentences. So how do we rush here? This is happening in MP, Bihar..."Justice Lalit added,"I had set aside a judgment of the Madhya Pradesh High Court where death sentence was awarded in 9 days. Now this petitioner, who was a topper of the batch, should be aware of our judgments. We have held sentencing cannot be on same day.".The Court eventually issued notice and granted interim security to the petitioner judge, who claimed that he had received death threats after passing one of the orders in question..Rai, a judge who was hearing cases under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, had moved the Supreme Court challenging his suspension, claiming that action was taken against him only for questioning the new evaluation system in place for promotions in the district judiciary.The petitioner-judge had, after rounds of non-consideration for promotion as civil judge (senior division), written to the High Court to consider restoring seniority as a basis for such elevations."The Hon’ble High Court, merely for questioning the process of evaluation of judgements, straightaway issued show cause notice to the Petitioner and later suspended him without giving any reasons thereby failing in its constitutional obligation to guide and protect the judicial officers," it was contended.."Institutional bias against the petitioner as the judgements of the petitioner in Spl. POCSO Case No. 01/2022 giving capital punishment to the accused Md. Major in four working days of trial and in Spl. POCSO Case No. 36/2021 giving punishment of life imprisonment in one working day of trial had caught immense media attention and was widely reported and appreciated by the government as well as by the public," his plea filed through Advocate Nitin Saluja said.It was also pointed out that the suspension order and pending disciplinary proceedings against him did not record any reasons and has led to mental pain "as he stands condemned for an action that otherwise garnered the praise of the State."