Don’t be state’s ‘chamach’: SC raps Himachal govt lawyer during Kasauli hearing


India, All India

SC took exception that Himachal has placed detail of pending case in HC in which issue of forest land encroachment in state has been raised.

The Supreme Court posted the Kasauli murder case for further hearing in October.(Photo: File | ANI)

New Delhi: An advocate was on Wednesday told by the Supreme Court not to be a 'chamach' (spoon) of the state when he drew its attention to the fact that the wife of an apex court judge, hearing a matter regarding unauthorised constructions in Kasauli in Himachal Pradesh, has filed a plea in the high court.

The apex court took umbrage when the Himachal Pradesh government's lawyer placed before it the details of the case.

"Does the state has nothing else to do? What about governance? What about governing the state? Tell your state that this will not be tolerated," a bench headed by Justice Madan B Lokur told the counsel.

"Do not be the mouthpiece of somebody who has some vested interest. You are an advocate and officer of the court and not a 'chamach' of the state. Do not do it ever again," Justice Lokur observed.

In colloquial Hindi, a chamach or spoon denotes a stooge.

The bench, also comprising Justices S Abdul Nazeer and Deepak Gupta, took strong exception that the state has placed before it the detail of a pending case in the high court in which the issue of encroachment on forest land in Himachal Pradesh has been raised.

Senior advocate P S Patwalia, assisting the court as an amicus curiae in the matter, said the matter which was being referred by the state was "totally separate" from what the apex court was hearing.

At the outset, the counsel told the court that the state, while going through the details of cases pending in the Himachal Pradesh High Court on the issue of encroachment and illegal constructions, came across one petition filed by the wife of one of the judges sitting in the bench.

The bench asked the counsel whether he had read the contents of the petition which he was referring to.

The counsel said he has not gone through the plea filed in January 2002, which has been pending in the high court.

During the brief hearing, the bench asked the state about the status of a case in which on May 1, Assistant Town and Country Planner Shail Bala Sharma had gone to supervise the demolition of unauthorised construction at Kasauli's Narayani Guest House where its owner Vijay Singh had allegedly shot her dead.

The counsel said that Vijay Singh was currently in judicial custody and the process of filing the charge sheet in the case was going on.

The bench posted the matter for hearing in October.

On May 9, the apex court had suggested that the Himachal Pradesh government should take action against those officials who were posted in Kasauli when illegal constructions had come up there and sought their names and designations.

The court had earlier taken cognisance of the Kasauli incident in which Sharma was killed, terming the incident as very unfortunate and observed that it had happened due to "non-implementation" of the law.