The Economic Offences Wing of the Mumbai Police in response to a plea by social worker Anna Hazare said that his application had ‘contemptuous’ comments on the judge and that the court must deal with it with heavy hands. In a plea, Hazare sought the transfer of protest petitions in the Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank (MSCB) scam case to another court fearing bias by the present judge.
The EOW had filed a joint reply for Hazare, former MP Shalinitai Patil and another individual, all of whom had sought that the protest petitions be transferred due to the same apprehension.
“With utmost humility and seriousness it is submitted that the applications contain comments on the Hon’ble Judge...which are contemptuous in nature and this Hon’ble court must deal with it with heavy hands so that no one ventures to attempt to lower the esteem of the judiciary..” the reply said.
Rather than the court being biased, it is the approach of the applicants that is biased, the EOW stated, adding that they view everything with “jaundiced eyes”. This, it pointed out, is due to the sequence of events wherein their advocate Satish Talekar, who used to earlier represent the original informant Surinder Arora, was discharged from services by Arora.
The EOW stated further that only Arora, being the original complainant who lodged the FIR, is legally entitled to file a protest petition. It pointed out that he has not sought a transfer of the proceedings and has concluded his arguments before the other court. Arora had recently filed an intervention in the present proceedings and said that he has no grievance against the judge handling his protest petition.
In another development, on Wednesday, the principal judge said it is ‘not desirable’ for the trial court to proceed urgently on Arora’s protest petition that was scheduled to be heard the next day, till the next date. It considered that pleas for stay on proceedings by Hazare, Patil and two other protest petitioners are pending before it. While the court did not order a stay, it said that it is a settled principle that whenever transfer petitions are filed before the principal judge, the trial court has to be slow in proceeding with the matter and not pass any orders that will frustrate these pending pleas.