SC expunges Justice Katju's remarks on anticipatory bail

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New Delhi, Feb 21 (UNI) The Supreme Court today made it clear that judges cannot make observations or remarks which have no relation to the controversy involved in a case.

A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan expunged the remarks by Justice Markandey Katju which he had made while deciding the petition of NASSCOM chief and an MD of a BPO Som Mittal challenging his prosecution for not providing adequate security to a woman employee of his company who was raped and murdered while returning home at night in Bangalore in 2005.

Justice Katju while deciding the case had made out of context observation and had recommended to the government to restore the provision of anticipatory bail in Uttar Pradesh where regular bail can be sought only after surrendering either before the court or the police.

The three-judge bench comprising the Chief Justice and Justices R V Raveendran and J M Panchal in their judgement noted, ''Remarks made by Justice Katju are expunged as the remarks and the observations made by the judge are not related to the subject matter of the case which was before the court.'' Another judge (Justice H K Sema) had not agreed with Justice Katju on the part of the judgement.

Justice Katju has not done it for the first time.

He earlier made some observations in regard to the applicability of TADA in 1993 Mumbai serial bomb blasts case forgetting that TADA was in force when the bomb explosions rocked Mumbai on March 12, 1993 and was repealed in 1995.

Justice Katju also hit headlines when he delivered a judgement telling the judiciary including the Supreme Court judges not to over-step their limits and not to try to run the government.

Justice Katju sitting with Justice A K Mathur had also observed that judges should not act as emperors and should not encroach upon the jurisdiction of the legislature and the executive and had also warned the judiciary of retaliation by the parliamentarians who may curtail the powers of judiciary in order to clip its wings.

His judgement on the issue of sounding warning to the judiciary is also pending before a three-judge bench and the Supreme Court is going to lay down fresh guidelines and parameters for entertaining PILs.

UNI AKS/SC SY RP HS1627

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