FPJ Legal | Credibility of justice dispensation system in perils: Bombay High Court

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court bench of Justice Rohit Deo at the Nagpur seat on Saturday said that the “credibility” of the justice dispensation system is in “perils”. The judge made the remark while dismissing a plea filed by a murder accused, who challenged the cancellation of his bail that he had obtained fraudulently.

Justice Deo also ordered Shubham Soni (21) to pay “exemplary cost” of Rs 50,000 for his fraud on the court. Soni was denied bail by a sessions court in Nagpur in June 2020 on merits noting the "uncontroverted position that he is a history-sheeter and is facing at least six prosecutions involving serious offences."

Within two days of being denied bail, a new judge was given bail board and accordingly, Soni moved a second bail plea before the new judge. But he did not apprise the new judge of the fact that his bail was rejected two days ago and that too on merits of the case.

The new judge without considering this aspect, granted him bail. But within a week cancelled it after the complainant brought the fact to the notice of the court that his bail was denied on merits.

Having considered the facts of the case, Justice Deo said, "The credibility of the justice dispensation system is the collective responsibility of all the stakeholders; the judges, the bar, the litigants and the common man. Unfortunately, the erosion of the faith of the common man in the justice dispensation system, more often than not, is attributable to stakeholders, who may not be alive to their pious duty and responsibility to ensure that the stream of justice flows unpolluted and unhindered."

"Something is indeed wrong with the state of affairs in the justice dispensation system, its credibility is in peril, and the enemy lurks within," Justice Deo remarked. The judge referring to the second bail plea of Soni said, "Indeed, the application is a manifestation of devious mind and the intent was to subvert the administration of justice."

"The prosecutor was silent, and the Judge (new judge at sessions court) failed to hear the alarm bells, which the conveniently and deceptively worded 'disclosure' ought to have set ringing. Soni secured the bail by hoodwinking the system and merrily walked out of the prison a free man," the judge said, adding, "Unfazed and undeterred, he is before me questioning the order of cancellation of bail."

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