NEW DELHI, Jan 8: The duty of a judge is to sustain judicial balance and not to cause trauma to adjudication process, the Supreme Court has ruled while setting aside an order of the Hyderabad High Court directing the police not to arrest three accused in a riots case.
A bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra also said courts should oust “unscrupulous litigants” from invoking the inherent jurisdiction of the court at the drop of a hat to file an application for quashing of an FIR or investigation.
The court allowed an appeal filed by the Telangana government in which it had said that whether the high court, while refusing to exercise its inherent powers under Section 482 of CrPC, can restrain the probe agency from arresting the accused persons during the course of probe.
The bench also comprising Justice Amitava Roy said that while entertaining petitions under Article 226 of the Constitution or Section 482 of CrPC, a high court should exercise “judicial restraint”.
“It is the duty of a judge to sustain the judicial balance and not to think of an order which can cause trauma to the process of adjudication. It should be borne in mind that the culture of adjudication is stabilised when intellectual discipline is maintained and further when such discipline constantly keeps guard on the mind,” the bench said.
“The courts should oust and obstruct unscrupulous litigants from invoking the inherent jurisdiction of the court at the drop of a hat to file an application for quashing of launching an FIR or investigation and then seek relief by an interim order. It is the obligation of the court to keep such unprincipled and unethical litigants at bay,” the court said.
“What needs to be stated here is that the states where Section 438 CrPC has not been deleted and kept on the statute book, the high court should be well advised that while entertaining petitions under Article 226 of the Constitution or Section 482 CrPC, exercise judicial restraint,” it said.
The Hyderabad High Court had earlier directed the police not to arrest three men in connection with various riot charges under various sections of IPC by invoking its inherent jurisdiction but allowed the probe agency to continue with the investigation.
The apex court said the high court has not referred to the allegations made in the FIR or the outcome of the probe.
“We may hasten to clarify that the court, if it thinks fit, regard being had to the parameters of quashing and the self-restraint imposed by law, has the jurisdiction to quash the investigation and may pass appropriate interim orders as thought apposite in law, but it is absolutely inconceivable and unthinkable to pass an order of the present nature while declining to interfere or expressing opinion that it is not appropriate to stay the investigation.
“This kind of order is really inappropriate and unseemly. It has no sanction in law,” it said. (PTI)