M A I N   N E W S

Judge suspended for deciding cases but
not issuing orders
Hundreds of cases to be reheard
Maneesh Chhibber
Our High Court Correspondent

Chandigarh, October 23
Mr G.S. Wadhwa, who was posted as Additional Civil Judge (Senior Division)-cum-Judicial Magistrate (First Class), Kurukshetra, from 1999 to 2002, pronounced hundreds of judgements, without bothering to dictate, write or sign the judgements.

Not only this, on his transfer to Hisar, he took along with him 521 court files and returned them only after a year. Over 350 other files retained by him were handed over by his brother and wife.

Mr Wadhwa is at present under suspension for his illegal acts.

An enquiry conducted by the District and Sessions Judge, Haryana, on the directions of the High Court found that out of the 258 cases in which this officer pronounced orders, 230 cases were such where no written judgements or orders existed.

The Punjab and Haryana High Court has ordered that all the civil, criminal and miscellaneous cases, which were shown to have been decided by Mr Wadhwa without following the proper procedure, would be adjudicated and decided afresh.

In its unprecedented order, a unique step to restore judicial sanctity, the Division Bench of the Chief Justice, Mr Justice B.K. Roy, and Mr Justice Surya Kant also directed the District and Sessions Judges of Kurukshetra and Hisar to ensure that the cases were re-listed before competent courts.

The irregular practice adopted by Mr Wadhwa was first noticed by a High Court Judge, who was administrative Judge of Kurukshetra Division, but only after the erring Judge had been shifted to Hisar. The High Court Judge found that there was unduly long delay in consignment of files and records relating to cases ‘decided’ by Mr Wadhwa.

The judicial officer did not stop his practice even after being transferred and decided 119 cases without bothering to dictate or sign the orders.

In his reference to the Full Court of the High Court, the Administrative Judge stated that apart from considering steps for the prevention of recurrence of such practices in future, the Court would also have to examine the legal position of the cases in which such judgements were passed by the officer.

The Full Court decided that the issue should be decided by a Bench of the High Court, following which the Division Bench headed by the Chief Justice heard the matter.

In its order, the Bench noted that by falsely showing judgements as having been delivered, Mr Wadhwa committed a fraud on his court. It also held that such judgements did not have legal validity and hence all cases which were disposed of by Mr Wadhwa without written orders are deemed to be still pending.

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