A Dalit man has requested the Gujarat high court that his petition be heard by another court as the present judge's surname suggested that he was a Brahmin and hence would not be able to do justice to his case.
Petitioner Atul Ramjibhai Makwana had approached the high court against the Junagadh district judge who, according to him, was favouring only Brahmins for posts of class III and class IV staff in his office.
Justice R R Tripathi dismissed the petition by Makwana's lawyer A M Chauhan and observed, "This court has come across such argument for the first time from a learned advocate after it assumed office as judge of this court."
Chauhan had submitted, "The surname suggests that your lordship also belongs to the same community (Brahmin) and, therefore, I want that this court may not take and hear this matter."
Expressing displeasure over the submission made by Makwana's lawyer, the court was of the opinion that "this is a fit case for issuing 'notice for contempt' against the learned advocate and if he is making this submission on instruction of his client then against him also."
"But the court restrains itself from doing so. The learned advocate seems to have made the aforesaid submission only with a view to either bring pressure on the court and obtain a favourable order or to get his matter out of this court," the order further said.
"The court deems it proper to dismiss this matter so as to discourage such a practice," it said.
Chauhan wanted to make further arguments but was not allowed to do so by the court.
Makwana's lawyer, during his earlier arguments, had told the court that nearly 60 per cent of candidates selected by the Junagadh district judge were Brahmins.
The petitioner also accused the judicial officer of 'promoting' Brahmins and in doing so, he conducted interviews twice and deprived him of the opportunity.
Chauhan said he had just expressed apprehension before the judge that he would not get justice from him.
He further said the was planning to challenge Justice Tripathi's order before a division bench because according to him the petition was dismissed without being heard on merits.