A senior citizen, fed up of travelling from Pune to Mumbai for a court hearing, could land in trouble for offering the Bombay high court money in return for its time.
Anil Tikotekar, a trader in his mid-60s, sent the high court registry a cheque of Rs20,000 for a 60-minute hearing and now faces the possibility of punishment for contempt of court.
A division bench of justice PB Majmudar and justice Amjad Sayed admonished Tikotekar. “Tomorrow if someone deposits Rs1 crore, should we hear him for the entire day?” justice Majmudar asked.
Tikotekar, a resident of Shivaji Nagar, is arguing an appeal in an arbitration case filed by his wife, Anagha, in 2004.
Tikotekar had sent an email to the high court saying that the appeal was to come up for hearing on January 11 but did not even feature in the weekly list.
“I am a senior citizen and have to come from Pune every time. I am unable to walk properly,” Tikotekar’s email said. “Please allot me a particular date and please arrange to put the matter high on board so that I am saved the agony of going through uncertainties and traveling problems.”
Tikotekar sent a letter to the high court registry on January 9, after seeing that his case was not listed for the week, with a cheque of Rs20,000.
Tilotekar apologised to the court on Friday and sought to withdraw the letter.
“Nobody has a right to address any letter to the judges in any manner, as it may amount to interfering with the administration of justice,” the bench said. “In the judicial system, judges are required to decide cases after hearing both the sides and no litigant can write a letter of such a nature to prejudice the mind of judges.”
The court asked Tikotekar to withdraw the cheque by filing an appropriate application before the registry. He has to file an affidavit apologising to the court by January 27.
Justice Majmudar said the court might consider initiating contempt proceedings against him after going through the apology.