The Punjab and Haryana high court on Monday held retired district and sessions judge and now practising advocate DS Chhina guilty of criminal contempt for tampering with judicial records during court proceedings and exceeding the limits of propriety and confidence of the court reposed on him.
Chhina had retired as district and sessions judge on December 31, 1998, and now practises at the Jalandhar district courts.
The division bench headed by justice Hemant Gupta has now adjourned the case for deciding the quantum of sentence. The decision came on a reference sent by the district and sessions judge, Jalandhar.
Chhina has been found guilty of tearing copies of bills dated June 23 and 26, 2008, which were part of the judicial file before then court of civil judge (junior division) Archana Kamboj in Jalandhar in the case titled 'Joginder Singh vs Rajinder Singh'. It was on Chhina's request on September 15, 2010, that the judge had handed over the case file to him to furnish an affidavit and tender documents in evidence. However, instead of furnishing the documents, Chhina tore off copy of bills amounting to Rs 1.37 lakh and Rs 69,000. When asked, Chhina said he tore the bills since he wanted to submit the original bills but he never submitted these on record.
The high court observed, "Such conduct is not expected from any member of the Bar, much less from the respondent, who retired as district and sessions judge after putting long number of years of service as a judicial officer." The court said it was "an act of interference in the administration of justice and, thus, is a criminal contempt."
The case would come up for hearing on February 7, 2014.