Pimpri: An online petition was started by social activists in support of Mumbai High Court Judge Justice Abhay Oka. The petition, launched by Rohit Joshi, has been signed by over 2,000 people in the first few hours.
On August 24, a petition about noise pollution was transferred from the bench headed by Justice Abhay Oka. This matter was specially assigned to the bench headed by Justice Oka. This was pursuant to an application made by the State government to the Chief Justice, alleging bias on the part of Justice Oka against the State.
The government sought transfer of a group of petitions raising concern about increasing noise pollution, especially during religious festivals, and the inaction by State government machinery against violations of noise pollution rules.
The government’s application to the Chief Justice stated, “These and such other aspects of the matter in general, demonstrate that the Hon’ble judge is somehow harbouring a serious bias in the subject matter of these petitions against the state machinery.”
The online petition stated, “In an unprecedented step, all matters pertaining to noise pollution rules were transferred to another bench by the Hon’ble Chief Justice Manjula Chellur, after the state government alleged Hon’ble Justice Oka harboured a ‘bias’ against the administration.”
The petition observed that Justice Abhay Oka is a senior and respected upright judge, who has spent a lifetime in the advancement of justice dispensation and is one of the finest judges in India.
Over 2,300 people signed the petition, including filmmaker Ashok Pandith.
Raju More, a supporter wrote, “The independence of the judiciary is at stake. The Advocate General is supposed to be leader of the Bar. His conduct in this matter deserves to be deprecated by the Bar. As a member of the Bar, I feel ashamed that my ‘leader’ showed no courage of conviction in this matter. Such spineless conduct is not becoming of someone who holds this august office.”
Meanwhile, Advocates’ Association of Western India (AAWI), in an emergency meeting held on Saturday, passed a resolution condemning the government’s tactic in alleging bias on the part of Justice Abhay Oka, at a point of time where the matter was