CHENNAI: A division bench of the Madras High Court has upheld the dismissal of a judicial magistrate for contacting over the phone the accused in a case pending before him and abusing an advocate in an inebriated condition.
"We do not see that the punishment (of dismissal from service) imposed on the petitioner is disproportionate. The said punishment does not shock the conscience of this Court," the bench of Justices R Subbiah and C Saravanan in a recent order.
The bench was dismissing a writ petition from KV Mahendra Boopathy, who sought to quash an order dated June 8, 2018 of the Home (Courts-1) Department. He also sought to reinstate him in service with all attendant benefits such as seniority and promotion.
The bench observed that there are ample evidences available against the petitioner to prove the charges that he had spoken to the complainant (also a prosecution witness) and threatened him over the phone. There is also evidence to show that he had abused an advocate in an inebriated condition and thereby contravened the provisions of the TN Government Servants Conduct Rules.
"Therefore, it cannot be said that the conclusion arrived at by the respondents is based on no evidence or the consideration is based on irrelevant material records. In other words, the exercise of power under Article 226 of the Constitution can be invoked to the limited extent to ensure whether the order is passed in accordance with established procedures contemplated under law. When the procedural process preceded the order of dismissal passed against the petitioner, this Court cannot interfere with the same," the bench said.
Rejecting another submission that dismissal from service is unwanted and disproportionate, the judges said that they are not inclined to accede to the same. The petitioner, as a judicial officer, is required to maintain absolute integrity and honesty in discharge of his functions and when the charges levelled are proved and related to his integrity, such submission cannot be sustained, the court said in the order.