A "bad character" from Bangalore got through the Karnataka judicial services and managed to "deliver justice" as a judge for almost four years.
Finally, the past caught up with him.
The Supreme Court has upheld the removal of Khazia Mohammed Muzammil whose name figured in the "rowdie list" of Uttara Kannada police prior to becoming a judge. Even after becoming a judge, the police did not strike off his name, keeping in view the antecedents and past activities.
A bench comprising Justices B.S. Chauhan and Swatanter Kumar dismissed Muzammil’s plea against the Karnataka High Court verdict saying, "Normally a person with such antecedents will hardly be permitted to join service of the government, particularly, the post of a judge."
Muzammil's name was entered in the "communal goonda sheet" in 1993 as he harboured criminals involved in serious crimes like murder and communal riots. As the general secretary of an organisation, called Majilis-Isa-o-Tanzim, Muzammil had allegedly delivered provocative communal speeches.
This, according to the police, had aggravated communal disturbance in Bhatkal.
The SC also pulled up the HC for appointing Muzammil to the post. "It was expected of the government as well as the high court to have the character verification report before the appointment letter was issued," the bench said.
It directed the Centre to issue guidelines on appointment of judges to the lower judiciary within eight weeks.
The bench also made it mandatory for the high courts to call for "police verification reports", in accordance with the law, before appointing judicial officers in the state.
The bench held: "It is a matter of concern that timely action on behalf of the high court would have avoided this uncalled for litigation."