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Friday, Sep 20, 2019

Maharashtra government apologises to Justice Abhay Oka for ‘bias’ allegation

mumbai Updated: Aug 29, 2017 00:07 IST
Kanchan Chaudhari
Kanchan Chaudhari
Hindustan Times

The state government’s move to accuse Justice Abhay Oka of Bombay high court of “harbouring serious bias” boomeranged on it while compelling it to withdraw the allegation, tender unconditional apology to the senior judge and also see the bench headed by him return to hear the group of petitions on noise pollution. After accusing Justice Oka of being biased against the state machinery, the state on Monday filed another application to the Chief Justice of Bombay high court withdrawing the said “contention”. 

“The said contention was not raised as an allegation against the Hon’ble Judge personally but was limited specifically and limited only as to the ‘subject matter’ involved,” the application filed on Monday states. “The state itself holds the said Hon’ble Judge individually with pride in the highest esteem and has highest regards and respect for him.” 

“However, unfortunately, it appears that the said intention of the state government has been widely misunderstood and misinterpreted and has been projected as if the state government is against the judiciary in general and the Hon’ble Judge in particular, which the state government never intended, nor intends to.” 

The application goes on “to express full faith and confidence in” Justice Oka by withdrawing the “contention” and tendering unconditional apology. In the same breath, the government also withdrew its request to transfer a bunch of matters from the bench headed by Justice Oka. 

Earlier, acting on an application filed by Maharashtra government, chief justice Manjula Chellur of the high court had, on August 24, withdrawn the group of matters from the bench headed by Justice Oka.  After the move came to be censured from all quarters, including the bar associations like the Advocates Association of Western India and the Bombay Bar Association, the government apologised. 

First Published: Aug 29, 2017 00:07 IST