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SC adjourns hearing in ‘mass leave’ case
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, September 27
The Supreme Court today adjourned for six weeks the hearing on a public interest litigation (PIL) raising the issue of 25 judges of the Punjab and Haryana High Court taking ‘mass’ casual leave on April 19 following alleged differences with the Chief Justice of the court.

But the apex court made it clear that it was not going to pass any ‘stricture’ against the judges.

“Let it be clear that we are not considering passing of any stricture against any judge. They are not party before us, but some provision has to be laid down for future. We are interested in the institution and nobody else,” a Bench of Mr Justice S.N. Varaiava and Mr Justice H.K. Sema observed.

The observation was made by the court when senior advocate G.L. Sanghi, appearing as a member of the Bar, sought to intervene in the case and said the matter needed to be handled with care as the credibility of an institution was involved.

He also raised the issue of “The Tribune” reporting the contents of the affidavit of the High Court, submitted in reply to the PIL after the apex court had issued notice to the High Court Registrar-General on the petition.

Mr Sanghi said the newspaper should be asked to disclose the source from where it got the affidavit.

Following this, the court recorded in its order that it be ‘ascertained’ how the newspaper obtained the reply of the High Court.

The court also appointed Mr Sanghi as amicus curiae in the case to assist it in adjudicating the matter.

Earlier, Mr Dhaiya, quoting from the High Court affidavit, said none of the 25 judges, who had taken ‘mass’ leave, had offered their views in writing, as had been sought by the High Court in an ‘administrative order’ of September 14, for filing of counter-affidavit in the apex court.

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