Senior Maharashtra Congress leader Kripashankar Singh invited the Supreme
Court’s ire for having mentioned his plea against a corruption case
before a different bench on Friday after getting the same withdrawn from
the court’s mentioning list yesterday.
Terming Singh’s act as
that of “bench-hunting,” a bench of justices DK Jain and AR Dave
refused to grant any immediate relief to the Congress leader and even
ticked off his counsel, senior advocate Ranjit Kumar for mentioning his
plea before it after getting the same withdrawn yesterday. “We are very
sorry. We are very sorry, this cannot happen. This is nothing but bench
hunting,” the bench told senior counsel Ranjit Kumar.
court told the senior counsel that “such practice” was unacceptable
and directed that the matter be posted for hearing on the date notified.
The apex court added that senior counsel like Ranjit Kumar have a duty
towards the court as law officers to prevent such type of “bench
In judiciary, the bench hunting refers to a
litigant’s bid to have his matter listed and heard by a bench, which one
perceives to be favourable to oneself, albeit wrongly. The apex court was
irked as the matter was originally slated for mentioning on Thursday but
was abruptly withdrawn and listed for fresh mentioning today. The case
against Singh and his family members was lodged on the Bombay High
In effect, the apex court declined to put
any interim stay on the Bombay High Court judgment as sought by Singh. The
senior Congress leader from Mumbai had moved the apex court after the
Bombay High Court had ordered his prosecution and attachment of his
immovable properties in a disproportionate assets case against him.