Judge refuses to recuse himself in RK Anand's case

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New Delhi, Oct 4 (UNI) Delhi High Court today dismissed senior advocate RK Anand's plea seeking the recusal of Justice Manmohan Sarin to hear his case relating to the contempt proceedings against him for allegedly influencing a witness in the BMW-car accident case.

Justice Manmohan Sarin had refused to recuse himself from hearing the case stating that there was no factual basis or any foundation for nurturing any apprehension of bias or other allegations made by RK Anand.

Justice Sarin in his order said, "while the path of recusal was often convenient and soft option especially so since a judge hearing the case had no vested interest in doing a particular matter, however the oath of office taken under Article 219 of the Constitution of India enjoins the judge to duly and faithfully and to best of his knowledge and judgement,perform the duties of office without fear or favour affection or ill will while upholding the constitution and the laws." He further added, "In case where unfounded and motivated allegations of bias were sought to be made with a view of forum hunting bench preference or brow beating the court then succumbing to such pressures would tantamount to not fulfilling the oath of office." Justice Sudershan Kumar Misra a judge of the same division bench however, refused to express any opinion in this matter as the allegations of bias were not levelled against him.

RK Anand had sought recusal of Justice Manmohan Sarin from hearing his case on the grounds that Manmohan Sarin ,then an advocate in 1988,by misuse of his powerful position as Vice-President of Delhi High Court Bar Association had opposed his candidature for nomination as a judge of the High Court.

Anand also stated that there was hostility between the two since 1984.

Anand said that Manmohan Sarin in his days of practice as an advocate had been an advocate of India Today(Living Media) and the present owners of NDTV Ms Radhika Roy and Dr Prannoy Roy had been closely associated with him and there was a likelihood of prejudices coming to his mind.

Justice Sarin refuted all the allegations levelled by Anand and ruled that it was the duty of the judge to bear the cross, unflinchingly and unmindful of consequences, act with rectitude and sobriety, upholding judicial integrity by discouraging such attempts while retaining the objectivity, will and determination to do justice.

UNI

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