The Tripura High Court recalled Additional Sessions Judge’s remarks made against lawyers whom he had threatened to initiate contempt proceedings.
In a peculiar circumstance, the Secretary, Home Department, Government of Tripura, representing the State of Tripura has moved the instant petition under Section 407 of CrPC read with Section 482 of CrPC to withdraw and transfer the case from the Court of Addl. Sessions Judge, Court, Agartala to any other Court of competent jurisdiction within the West Tripura Sessions Division, and further to quash and set aside the order passed by Addl. Sessions Judge in the aforesaid case whereby the Addl. Sessions Judge directed the State of Tripura, Senior Advocate Samrat Kar Bhowmik and Advocate Anirban Bhattacharjee, to show cause within two weeks as to why the petition filed by the prosecution for expunction of remarks would not be referred to the High Court of Tripura for drawing contempt proceedings against them.
Senior Advocate Kar Bhowmik, emphasized that the State lost its confidence and faith upon the Addl. Sessions Judge, senior counsel argued that the atmosphere for a conducive and fair trial had been vitiated before the Addl. Sessions Judge, Agartala.
Advocate Biswas, opposing the prayers of the State mainly confined his submissions in respect of the legal positions that lawyer is busy in another Court could not be an appropriate ground to adjourn a case as contemplated under the Second Proviso to sub-section (2) of section 390.
The single judge bench of Justice Arindam Lodh said that it is unable to digest what prompted the Addl. Sessions Judge, Gobinda Das, to issue notice upon the Secretary, Law Department, Government of Tripura, who is not a party to the proceedings at all.
The court stated that the remarks as made by Addl. Sessions Judge had questioned the integrity and honesty, the Court expects from a designated senior advocate. Such statement or statements can only be said to be false or baseless only after verification with the person concerned.
The court deemed it imperative to mention that omission of the name of a witness from the list shall not be a bar to his being examined if produces such witness. Both the Sessions Judge and Addl. Sessions Judge have only considered the grounds stated in the petition in respect of the contention that Lawyers busy in another Court shall not be a ground for adjournment, but, both of them have failed to take into account that main ground as urged by the learned Special Public Prosecutor is that he had a conversation with PW10 when this witness expressed her inability to attend before the Court for examination.
The court directed the Sessions case, now pending before the Court of Addl. Sessions Judge (Gobinda Das), Agartala, to be transferred to the Court of Sessions Judge, who may himself carry out the trial or transfer the said case to any other Court within his jurisdiction.
Case title: The State of Tripura v/s Sri Sumit Banik and Ors.
Citation: Tr.P.(CRL.) NO.1 OF 2022