Nagpur Bench raises issue of transfer of cases
The Nagpur Bench of the Bombay High Court has recommended to its Chief Justice that the issue of territorial jurisdiction of regional benches be referred to a larger bench for decision.
The Bombay High Court has benches at Aurangabad, Nagpur and Goa, apart from the main bench at Mumbai.
According to the official figures, between 2010 and 2015, 207 cases were transferred from Nagpur bench to Mumbai, while 279 cases from Aurangabad bench were transferred to Mumbai between 2012 and 2015.
Acknowledging the authority of the Chief Justice to assign or transfer the cases, Justice Arun Chaudhari of Nagpur High Court said in a judgement that matters almost fully or part-heard and likely to be decided were abruptly transferred, sometimes without assigning any reasons.
The issue cropped up when the principal bench at Mumbai gave interim bail to the alleged Naxal sympathiser and Delhi University professor G N Saibaba, though his original plea was before the Nagpur Bench.
Such transfers result in drastic consequences for litigants from Vidarbha and Marathwada region, the court said.
Transfer of a case from a judge in the middle of hearing to the principal bench results in “trivialisation, humiliation, undermining his authority apart from generating suspicion,” Justice Chaudhari said.
Advocate-General Shreehari Aney, who appeared in the matter, had suggested that a ‘chamber meeting’ (internal meeting of judges) of High Court should deliberate on this issue and formulate some mechanism. — PTI