CJ resents statements attributed to her Bench
Indira Banerjee says State government had misrepresented facts before the Supreme Court in liquor ban case
Chief Justice of the Madras High Court Indira Banerjee on Tuesday expressed her displeasure over the State government having attributed “wrong and irresponsible” statements to a Bench led by her while arguing a case before the Supreme Court with regard to the opening of liquor shops along highways that pass through municipal areas.
Leading the first Division Bench along with Justice M. Sundar, the Chief Justice told Government Pleader (incharge) T.N. Rajagopalan that it was not fair on the part of the State government to have represented in the Supreme Court that it was her Bench which wanted a clarification of the Supreme Court’s July 11 order.
Recalling that her Bench was about to pass orders on November 6, by interpreting the apex court’s July 11 order, she said: “Then, it was you who wanted an adjournment to seek a clarification from the Supreme Court. When we granted you an adjournment at the asking, I think there should be some responsibility in the way statements are made.
“The submissions made in the Supreme Court as if we raised a query and we advised you to file a clarification application are not true because it was you who said that you’ve already filed an application and wanted us to grant an adjournment. I think the submissions made by the State Government are irresponsible. We were only interpreting the Supreme Court’s order.”
Further, referring to another submission made in the Supreme Court as if her Bench wanted to know whether the Supreme Court’s July 11 order would apply only to Chandigarh alone or across the country, Ms. Justice Banerjee said: “We never observed that the judgment would apply only to Chandigarh. Even a child of little knowledge in law would not raise such a query.
“Our question was whether the Supreme Court’s order would apply to highways passing through municipal areas even without denotifying them. What was before us was whether Tasmac (Tamil Nadu State Marketing Corporation, a government undertaking that runs liquor shops in the State) shops could be opened along the highways without denotifying.” The Chief Justice broached the subject with the Government Pleader impromptu after referring to news reports of what had transpired in the Supreme Court during the hearing of the State’s clarification petition on Monday.
The submissions made as if we raised a query and we advised you [government] to file a clarification application are not true