Apex Court issues notice to Karnataka Chief Justice
From correspondents in Delhi, India, 09:02 PM IST
The Supreme Court Friday issued notice to the chief justice of the Karnataka High Court on a petition questioning his jurisdiction to hear an appeal by a dismissed high court employee.
While issuing the notice through the high court's registrar general, the apex court bench, headed by Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan, also issued notice to the state high court's judicial registrar.
The bench issued notices on a petition by dismissed court officer K. Sippe Gowda, who was removed by the earlier Karnataka chief justice in 2005 on grounds of gross dereliction of duty and misconduct.
Challenging the proposed hearing of his appeal by a division bench headed by the Karnataka chief justice, Gowda contended that the same office of the chief justice could not be the disciplinary authority as well as the appellant authority against its own order.
As the office of the chief justice was the one that dismissed him, Gowda questioned the power of the present chief justice to hear his appeal. He said it flies in the face of administrative laws, where the disciplinary and appellant authority could not be one and the same office.
Maintaining that it does not matter that the chief justice who dismissed him is not the present one but his predecessor, Gowda, a union leader of the Karnataka Government Employees Association, said it was the office that mattered here.
Gowda was reportedly dismissed because he never attended to his work as court officer since 1991 owing to his preoccupation with the employees' union.
He contended in his petition that the high court had given him special permission to attend to the union work.