Millennium Post

Will be unique day when litigants decide who will hear them:HC

It will be “unique” if parties decide which judge will hear their matter, Delhi High Court observed on Monday. The observation came during the hearing of a plea by Congress leader Sajjan Kumar and others for transfer of their case relating to 1984 anti-Sikh riots alleging bias by one of the members of a division bench.

“It will be a unique day in history when the parties involved in a matter will decide which judge will hear their case,” a bench of Justices Gita Mittal and P S Teji remarked. It further said they were struggling to get cases older than the 1984 riots listed so that people waiting for justice do not have to wait long. 

“This kind of application is filed in every difficult case nowadays. But the applicant does not understand that due to such attempts, how much judicial time is wasted on this,” the court said, adding that “there are many cases older than 1984 riots. The victims still await justice. 

This bench is also hearing the case of the 1987 Hashimpura massacre”.The arguments will continue on Tuesday. Kumar, who was acquitted by a trial court in 2013 in a case relating to the killing of five Sikhs by a mob in Delhi Cantonment’s Raj Nagar area during the riots, has claimed in his plea that the case should be transferred to another bench as Justice Teji had heard the anticipatory bail pleas in this case when he was a trial court judge.

Former MLA Mahender Yadav, who was handed three years jail term in the matter and is presently on bail, had also alleged that “Justice Teji was exercising his keen interest in the matter” and he should recuse himself from hearing these appeals. This was strongly objected to by senior advocate H S Phoolka, appearing for the victims, who submitted that such allegations should not be entertained in the court.
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