PATNA: Patna High Court judge Rakesh Kumar, who was recently censured by a special bench for his stinging observations on alleged corruption in the judiciary and stripped of judicial work, has been reassigned cases from Monday, according to court sources.
A notice to this effect was issued by Registrar (List) of the High Court on Sunday, after Justice Kumar and Chief Justice A P Sahi returned from New Delhi, where they had a meeting with Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi.
A controversy had erupted over an August 28 order of Justice Kumar, who had taken suo motu cognizance of the bail granted by a vigilance court to a retired IAS officer involved in a corruption case, a year after an anticipatory bail plea of the former bureaucrat had been dismissed by another court.
In his 20-page-order, Justice Kumar had directed the District Judge, Patna, to conduct an inquiry into the bail granted to former bureaucrat K P Ramaiah, and directed the CBI to investigate alleged corruption in the civil court here, as claimed in a two-year-old sting operation by a private news channel.
Besides, Justice Kumar had recounted a number of anecdotes to suggest that the higher judiciary in the state had been found wanting in the clampdown on corruption and favouritism.
After his order, the High Court administration withdrew all cases listed for Justice Kumar.
Taking a serious note of the matter, the chief justice constituted a bench comprising 11 judges.
"The bench finds this a painful task to perform, but, nonetheless, it deserves to be performed. When we have to uphold the majesty of the institution, an individual judge's identity is inconsequential."
"We are, therefore, left with no other option but to suspend the entire order dated 28th of August, 2019 with a further direction that the file of the case shall not be placed before the learned single judge," the 23-page order of the bench said, referring to the matter involving Justice Kumar.