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The role of the courts is only to aid in the delivery of justice for the litigant: Bombay High Court

The Bombay High Court has upheld that the role of the courts is only to aid in the delivery of justice for the litigant through a bench of Justices G.S.Patel & Madhav J Jamdar in the case of The Satara District Bar Association Satara v. State of Maharashtra & Ors (INTERIM APPLICATION NO. 975 OF 2022 IN WRIT PETITION NO. 3879 OF 2021)

FACTS OF THE CASE:

The Writ Petition was filed by the Satara District Bar Association under Article 226 of the Constitution of India and challenged what it called  “approvals” dated 31st July 2015 and 6th March 2020 of the High Court on its administrative side. The impugned approvals related to the establishment at Wai in the Satara District of a Court of an Additional District Judge and a Court of a Civil Judge, Senior Division. 

The Petitioner claimed to be a registered organization of about 2500 members and was a Bar Association of the Satara District. The District Court at Satara has 11 Talukas. The Petition recited that the Petitioner learnt that the Bar Associations at Wai and Phaltan were making representations to the High Court to establish a District Court and a Court of a Civil Judge, Senior Division at those places.

The Petition then goes on to say that the Petitioners learnt that the High Court had accepted the representation of the Wai Bar Association and sanctioned the establishment of a District Court, Additional Sessions Court and that of a Civil Judge, Senior Division at Wai to cover the Talukas of Wai, Khandala and Mahabaleshwar. These three Talukas fall in Satara District and are presently under the jurisdiction of the Satara District Court.

JUDGEMENT:

The Court noted that the Petition was materially defective in that it does not make an adequate disclosure about the representation that was filed by the Petitioner or the 17th July 2019 letter issued by the Khandala Taluka Bar Association at the time of filing of the present Writ Petition.

It was stated that the High Court took into account other factors down to details such as adequacy of accommodation for judicial officers in Wai and it was only on being satisfied that there were all these feasibilities that it made its proposal. To say, therefore, that the High Court considered nothing except pendency of cases is factually incorrect and is demonstrated to be incorrect on the record itself. 

It was noted that “It is the interest of the litigants that is paramount and the role of the Court and all those who enable its functioning, whether Judges or lawyers, are meant to assist the delivery of justice to the litigant.” 

The submission that before making the proposal the High Court should first have consulted the State Government or that such a proposal should have emanated from the State Government was rejected. The Court held that it was clear that operationally neither the High Court nor the State Government can go around establishing Courts on their own without the involvement of the other.

The Court noted that the real difficulty with this Petition was that it was unclear what legal right the Petitioner was asserting when it said that this High Court should not consider establishing a Court at Wai. The Court did not deny that the Bar has a role to play in the administration of justice.It emphatically asserted that the interest of the litigants is paramount and the role of the Court and all those who enable its functioning, whether Judges or lawyers, are meant to assist the delivery of justice to the litigant. 

Furthermore, it was stated that “The establishment of a Court in a close proximity cannot really be said to be an undesirable thing to litigants who are in the vicinity of the proposed Court. There is no reason why a litigant should, on the Petitioners’ representation be required to travel 35 kms from Wai to Satara rather than have a Court in Wai itself.”

Thus, the petition was rejected, and the interim application was dismissed accordingly. 

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JUDGEMENT REVIEWED BY REETI SHETTY

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