Bombay High Court has upheld the decision of a five-judge disciplinary committee censuring a civil judge for smoking in the bar room with lawyers and reporting late to court.
Hearing a petition filed by the judge, the court, on September 23, held that the penalty imposed by the committee was “minor and fully justified”.
S.B. Kulkarni, currently presiding over a Buldana civil court, was “censured” in February by the HC committee that conducted an inquiry on a complaint filed by lawyers. Being aggrieved, he filed an appeal before a bench of the Bombay HC that upheld the decision of the committee.
The committee fined him for not only puffing away in court premises but also for reporting late to the court. “There is material to hold that the judge occupies seat on the dias for a limited time. He spends much time during working hours in the Diwani room (bar room) with lawyers and smokes in the office. This conduct...is against the judicial discipline”, the report said.