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Governor to blame, says SC
Admits Centre’s appeal on HC-Raj Bhavan tussle
S.S Negi
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, June 27
The Supreme Court today admitted the Centre’s appeal against the Allahabad High Court order on the transfer of the legal adviser to Uttar Pradesh Governor T V Rajeshwar, which has turned into a “confrontation” between him and the High Court Administration. The apex court, however, blamed Raj Bhavan for “precipitating” the crisis.

While asking the Governor and the High Court Chief Justice to give “quits” to all issues arising out of the crisis, a vacation Bench of Mr Justice A R Lakshmanan and Mr Justice Altamas Kabir said the matter needed to be heard by a Constitution Bench and directed that the Centre’s petition be placed before the Chief Justice of India on the reopening of the Court for further action.

The Court issued notices to the High Court Registrar-General, U P Government. Governor's Principal Secretary, Governor's Legal Adviser Pradeep Dubey and High Court Bar Association, which has filed a PIL on the issue.

The Bench, however, restrained the High Court from going ahead with the hearing of the matter further by its “Full Court Bench” on July 4 when the Governor’s Principal Secretary was asked to appear personally to explain the position regarding Mr Dubey's transfer to Ballia as Additional District Judge (ADJ). The transfer of Mr Dubey, a state judicial service officer, was ordered by the High Court Administration on the ground that it was necessary as he had been continuing to serve in Raj Bhawan for the past 12 years.

The Union Government sought quashing of the June 23 order of the High Court’s Full Bench, holding that any order issued by the Governor regarding Mr Dubey’s transfer be treated as “ineffective and inoperative”. It raised the question whether any judicial officer placed in executive cadre to serve at Raj Bhavan could be transferred by the High Court without the “concurrent” approval of the Governor.

The apex court expressed displeasure over the two constitutional authorities letting the crisis to brew and mainly put the blame on Governor for “cascading” it due to the “tone and tenor” of his three letters to High Court Chief Justice.

When Additional Solicitor-General Gopal Subramaniam said pendency of the Centre’s appeal should not come in the way of the Governor and High Court Chief Justice to resolve the matter, the Bench said that would be a welcome step.

The Bench after perusing the correspondence between the Governor and the Chief Justice, observed that “tone and tenor (of Governor’s letters) is the reason for precipitating the matter. We don’t want the Governor and the High Court to precipitate the crisis any further.”

From the first letter it looked obvious that the “mind-set of the Governor was very clear (to retain Dubey)… the third letter gives further impression that the Governor wants to back him,” the Bench observed. 

 

 



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