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Bombay HC accepts govt’s apology for bias charges against Oka

Published : Aug 30, 2017, 9:15 pm IST
Updated : Aug 30, 2017, 9:15 pm IST

Though the affidavit did not have name of the person responsible, the bench accepted the apology on various grounds.

Bombay High Court
 Bombay High Court

Mumbai: The Bombay high court on Tuesday accepted the unconditional apology tendered by the Maharashtra government for making allegation of “harbouring serious bias against the state government in noise pollution matter” against Justice Abhay Oka.

The affidavit filed before the division bench of Justice Oka and Justice Riyaz Chagla through Vijay Patil, deputy secretary, Maharashtra, stated, “The state government expresses regret to Justice Oka for the said contentions and allegation and while tendering an unqualified apology to the Justice Oka also hereby expresses full faith and confidence in Justice Oka.” The affidavit further read, “I say that a separate affidavit is filed before the chief justice tendering an unconditional and unqualified apology to this esteemed institution i.e. the high court of judicature at Bombay and the chief justice of the court for all the acts of omission and commission in this regard by the state government as also for all consequences thereof.”

The state however, despite the court order, refrained from naming the authority who had taken decision of making the allegation against the judge.

When Justice Oka said, “What if we want to initiate a contempt petition against the authority? Though we are not inclined to issue the contempt petition, but the affidavit should have the name of the responsible person.”

To this advocate general Ashutosh Kumbhakoni replied, “The name of single authority is not mentioned because the whole state is responsible for the decision. Even those who had not participated in taking decision were also responsible.”

Though the affidavit did not have name of the person responsible, the bench accepted the apology on various grounds, including that everybody has received a ‘loud and clear message that nobody would be allowed to dent the dignity of this August Institute (the high court)’. The bench also took into consideration the fact that the state had filed an affidavit before the Chief Justice seeking an unconditional apology from the entire judiciary.

Tags: bombay high court, justice abhay oka