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100 case records go missing from retired judge’s house: Madras HC

By Tavanpal Singh
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Chennai: Papers related to around 100 cases sent to the residence of a retired judge of the Madras high court had ‘disappeared’ following which the court has ordered a CBI probe into the matter.

“It is alarming to note that case bundles hundred in number disappearing… like missing vessels in the Bermuda triangle,” justice G Jayachandran said in his Wednesday’s order directing the CBI to investigate the matter.

The bundles went missing after they were sent over a period of time to the residence of then sitting judge justice T Mathivanan, who retired in May last year.

The judge said, “This court is worried about the missing case records from Chartered high court, which is also the Court of Records”

Reconstruction of missing records can be the solution on the administrative side but the fact that 100 case bundles did not return from the residence of the retired judge cannot be ignored, he said.

The matter came to notice after a petitioner had submitted in the court earlier that though his plea was allowed by justice Mathivanan on March 21, 2017 with pronouncement of the order in an open court but he was not able to get a copy of the written order.

When the matter was brought to the notice of chief justice Indira Banerjee, she directed the reconstruction of the case bundle and posted it before justice Jayachandran.

In the hearing on Wednesday, the judge was informed that there were several such cases where the former judge had reserved the orders or pronounced the order in an open court but the order copies were not found.

An enquiry ordered by the registry revealed that papers related to around 100 cases on which justice Mathivanan had reserved orders were missing, justice Jayachandran was informed.

The judge said, “It appears that despite in-house investigation ordered by the chief justice, till date the case records sent to the judge’s residence have not been retrieved.”

Around 10 petitions on ‘matters related to reconstruction’ were listed for hearing before him, the judge said in all these cases the CBI was the prosecution agency.

In his order, Justice Jayachandran said, “This court is constrained to direct the Central Bureau of Investigation to take up the information for investigation. Copy of this order is marked to the joint director of CBI, Chennai Zone for necessary action.


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