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Tuesday, Oct 22, 2019

CJI Ranjan Gogoi terminates two employees in court order alteration case

The Chief Justice of India on Wednesday terminated the services of two court masters of Justice RF Nariman’s court after it was alleged that they altered a court order in connection with a contempt case against Reliance Communication’s chairman Anil Ambani.

india Updated: Feb 14, 2019 23:28 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
New Delhi
Exercising his disciplinary powers as an administrative head under the Supreme Court rules, Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi issued the directive against the two employees without constituting a disciplinary committee to enquire into the matter.
Exercising his disciplinary powers as an administrative head under the Supreme Court rules, Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi issued the directive against the two employees without constituting a disciplinary committee to enquire into the matter. (Sonu Mehta/HT File Photo)
         

The Chief Justice of India on Wednesday terminated the services of two court masters of Justice RF Nariman’s court after it was alleged that they altered a court order in connection with a contempt case against Reliance Communication’s chairman Anil Ambani.

Exercising his disciplinary powers as an administrative head under the Supreme Court rules, Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi issued the directive against the two employees without constituting a disciplinary committee to enquire into the matter.

The two court masters — one has served for 30 years and the other for 20 — were initially suspended on February 6 pending an inquiry into their actions. Court masters are officers of the court who record court proceedings and also orders dictated by judges in open court.

The controversy pertains to an order passed by a bench of Justices Nariman and Vineet Saran ordering personal appearance of Anil Ambani in a contempt petition filed by Ericsson. Though the bench on January 7 ordered his personal appearance, the order uploaded on the net did not reflect so.

On January 9, the matter was mentioned by a junior advocate representing Ericsson who pointed out the error. A revised copy of the order, seeking Anil Ambani’s personal appearance, was uploaded on the same day and sent to the branch a day later. Both orders are available on the official website of the Supreme Court.

Almost a month later, on February 4, Ericsson’s lawyer handed over a copy of January 7 order to the court and complained of alleged tampering. Following this the two officials were suspended and administrative order was issued to initiate an enquiry against them.

First Published: Feb 14, 2019 23:28 IST

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