An idea may have been formed in the mind of the common man that the judge was unable to dispense fair justice given the situation on 17 May in the city, solicitor general, Tushar Mehta submitted before a larger Bench of Calcutta High Court today. Several orders including from Supreme Court of South Africa were placed by him seeking transfer of the Narada case.
If your contention is taken to be true, then what is your definition of the common man, Justice IP Mukerji asked the solicitor general. Shooting off a clutch of questions, Justice Mukerji further asked whether the common man is an educated person? Does this common man hold a political view? Is he a supporter of a political party? Will law and order be given a go by to cater to an idea formed in the mind of a common man, Justice Soumen Sen asked.
Imagine a scenario in which many people are agitating in the streets demanding the bail of a person, Justice Harish Tandon asked. How will the judge react, it was asked. It depends upon the circumstances, Mehta submitted. The different directions of various courts that you have mentioned pertain to the trial stage, Justice Sen observed. Was a warrant issued while arresting these persons, Justice Mukerji asked Mehta.
The investigating officer made the arrest by the power vested on him without a warrant, the CBI counsel replied. The trial court judge gave interim bail to the four accused which means that he has not finally disposed off the matter, Justice Sen observed. Was it possible to place the case diary before the lower court on the day of the arrrest, Justice Sen asked Mehta.
No we couldn’t place the case diary on that day, it was submitted. Were you able to place the hard copy of the charge sheet, Justice Sen asked. Yes, but by that time the hearing was over, Mehta said. You have stated in the affidavit that you strongly opposed the bail, but here you are saying that you could not make your submission properly, Justice Tandon observed.
Is this not a self contradictory stand, he asked. You placed the chargesheet at 6 pm and the judge passed his order at 7 pm, Justice Sen observed. Why did you not present the case diary by this time to let the judge go through it and pass an order, he asked. You could have also prayed for adjourning the matter, Justice Sen said.
The lower court had given an interim bail thereby there was an opportunity for further hearing before it and you could have also prayed for hearing to be held on a daily basis, it was observed. Hearing on a daily basis is practically impossible in the lower court, Mehta submitted. The hearing was adjourned and will resume tomorrow.