The order specifically stated that “personal appearance is not dispensed with.”
New Delhi: The Supreme Court has summarily dismissed two court masters — Manav Sharma and Tapan Kumar Chakraborty — for tampering with the January 7 order directing the personal appearance of Reliance Communication’s chairman Anil Ambani. Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi passed this order on Wednesday evening exercising his disciplinary powers as the head of the institution.
It was stated that a bench of Justices Rohinton Nariman and Vineet Saran passed an order on January 7 directing the personal appearance of Anil Ambani in the court in the contempt petitions filed by Ericsson. The order specifically stated that “personal appearance is not dispensed with.”
However, when the order was uploaded on the Supreme Court website, the crucial word “not” was omitted. Instead, it read “personal appearance is dispensed with.” Even in the summons issued to Mr Ambani, it said “personal appearance dispensed with.”
This discrepancy was brought to the notice of the bench on January 10 by Dushyant Dave, the senior counsel appearing for Ericsson.
The bench headed by Justice Nariman informed the counsel that the bench had specifically required the presence of Mr Ambani. Thereafter, a revised copy of the order was uploaded.
The court then ordered a probe as to how the word “not” was omitted in the order, which was initially uploaded and when it was served on Mr Ambani. It revealed that there was a tampering in the order by the two officials, prompting the Chief Justice of India to take disciplinary action and ordering their summary dismissal from service.
It may be recalled that the court, on Wednesday, had reserved verdict on the contempt petitions filed by Ericsson against Mr Ambani and two other directors who were present in the court both on Tuesday and Wednesday.