BANGALORE: Karnataka High Court Chief Justice Vikramjit Singh today recused himself from hearing the PILs seeking to initiate disciplinary proceedings against the media and the police for alleged attacks on advocates last month.
A division bench headed by the Chief Justice in its order said that "in the context of the events that transpired on March 2, 2012, the subject matter of these proceedings, one of us (Chief Justice) is of the opinion that it would be proper to recuse himself".
The bench said this is for the reason that from 11.30AM on that day court proceedings had to be discontinued for the CJ to remain abreast of happenings of city civil courts and its environs. The Home Minister and the Law Minister and the Director General of Police were in confabulation with the Chief Justice almost immediately, it said.
It said the CJ is privy to conversations in this regard and instructions given by these authorities to various officers in the course of that day. The CJ had also met office-bearers of the petitioner's Association and several lawyers many times, all of whom recounted their version of the incidents that day.
"Justice must not be tempered by the personal knowledge or reactions or assessments of the Judge having regard to the inputs he has received from any quarters; decisions should not be affected by any prejudice which may come about because of his personal involvement, albeit purely in an administrative capacity".
The bench noted that as arguments have advanced, it has become 'manifestly clear' that the Chief Justice having been kept abreast of events which transpired on that day as well as subsequently, "the same may appear to pervade the appreciation of the case of the adversaries in its proper perspective."
The bench said it needs to be put on record that none of the parties to the dispute has attempted to influence the bench and listed the petition for April 16.
The PILS were being heard by the bench comprising Chief Justice Sen and Justice B V Nagarathna.
Sixty five persons, including 52 police personnel, were injured when lawyers went on a rampage on March 2 protesting the presence of mediapersons to cover the appearance of former minister and mining baron G Janardhan Reddy in a mining case in the city civil court complex.