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Assam NIA Judge Appeals to Supreme Court for Removal of ‘Derogatory’ Remarks in Gauhati High Court Verdict

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Published on: October 22, 2023 at 11:45 IST

A judicial officer serving in one of the special courts under the National Investigation Agency Act (NIA Act) in Assam has approached the Supreme Court, seeking the removal of certain comments made against him in a Gauhati High Court judgment that had reversed a decision he had authored.

A bench consisting of Justices AS Bopanna and PS Narasimha has requested the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to respond to the plea, which challenges statements made by the High Court about the petitioner-judge while overturning the conviction he had handed down in a case under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).

In its ruling, the High Court had acquitted the accused and observed that the NIA had failed to establish that the accused were involved in a criminal conspiracy. Additionally, the High Court stated that Dima Halam Daogah (Jewel Garlosa), an organization to which the accused were alleged to belong, was not definitively proven to be a terrorist group.

The petitioner argued that the following comments made by the High Court were objectionable:

  • Alleging deep-rooted bias in favor of the prosecution on the part of the petitioner-judge.
  • Suggesting a purely partisan approach, indicating a predetermined conviction of the accused/appellant Ahshringdaw Warisa.
  • Implying a virtually predetermined conclusion.
  • Accusing the petitioner of committing an act of severe judicial impropriety.
  • Claiming that the petitioner had acted in a slipshod manner.
  • Accusing the petitioner of being a passive observer without giving adequate consideration to the available evidence on record.

The petitioner asserted that these remarks were unnecessary for the appeal’s decision.

Furthermore, the petitioner contended that these remarks had damaged his reputation among colleagues, lawyers, and litigants and had disrupted his peace of mind, affecting his ability to perform judicial duties with composure and confidence. The petitioner also expressed concern that these remarks could have an adverse impact on his future career.

It is worth noting that the High Court had directed that a copy of its ruling be provided to the Assam State Judicial Academy “for future references and guidance” to prevent cases with serious allegations from facing similar outcomes due to significant lapses in the trial court.