The Bombay High Court on Monday asked Maharashtra Government to submit a copy of the inquiry report prepared against the principal judge of the family court following a petition filed against her by an advocate, Shobha Shet.
A division bench of Justice JN Patel and Justice SC Dharmadhikari kept the matter for hearing on February 12 after the Maharashtra Government opposed the petition filed by advocate Shet in 2006 seeking disciplinary action against the principal judge of the Family Court, SD Joshi.
On February 17, 2005, Shet was representing a client in a matrimonial dispute against her husband. Shet has alleged in her petition that after making them wait for nearly three hours, principal judge Joshi simply adjourned the matter for March 2005. When she (Shet) tried to point out the urgency in the matter as the husband was not paying maintenance despite court orders, the principal judge directed the constables in the court to detain her and not permit her to leave the family court premises, Shet has alleged in her petition.
Moreover, principal judge Joshi also issued a back-dated contempt notice against her on February 18, alleged Shet.
Later Shet wrote a letter to the then Chief Justice Dalveer Bhandari who had ordered a departmental inquiry. The special investigation department (SID) of the Bombay High Court had conducted the inquiry and prepared a report. Shet was also informed by the HC that necessary would be taken after her statement was recorded by the SID in May 2005.
However, alleging that there was no further progress as the inquiry was closed, Shet filed a petition in the high court. Apart from disciplinary action principal judge Joshi, Shet has also sought that the principal judge be transferred till the pending of the petition.
Maharashtra government opposed her petition stating that Shet was not authorized to represent the client as she did not have the necessary vakalatnama (document permitting an advocate to represent a person in court). Besides, principal judge Joshi had heard the matter and directed the husband to pay the maintenance within two weeks, after which the matter was adjourned, stated the reply filed by Registrar (legal).
Observing that the matter should be handled by the administrative department, the high court kept the matter on February 12.