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Gujarat HC issues notices to 27 sitting and former judges

Ahmedabad: The Gujarat High Court today issued notices to the state government and 27 sitting as well as former judges, including that of the Supreme Court, over allotment of residential plots in the city.

The division bench of acting Chief Justice V M Sahai and Justice R P Dholaria today converted letters written by two former High Court judges into a public interest litigation.

The letters, written by B J Shethna, former judge of Gujarat and Rajasthan High Courts, and K R Vyas, former Chief Justice, Bombay High Court, and a former judge of Gujarat High Court, deal with allotment of plots to judges at Neetibaug Cooperative Housing Society in Sola area here.

The letters question the manner in which the plots were alloted, citing alleged irregularities and breach of norms.

“Serious complaint has been made in the aforesaid letters and after deliberation with heavy heart, this suo motu PIL has been taken up today….It involves judges of this court who are performing constitutional duties. This is an era of transparency where everything has to be before the public and no one can claim that they are above the law,” said the HC order today.

The court, during the hearing, questioned the need to form the Society when plots were alloted on individual basis. It sought clarifications from 33 parties including the Ahmedabad Collector, Gujarat government, eight sitting judges of the Gujarat High Court, 15 former HC judges, one sitting judge of the Supreme Court, one retired Supreme Court judge, the Chief Justice of Orissa HC and the Chief Justice of Bombay HC. All these sitting or former judges have got plots in the Society.

The bench sought their replies by tomorrow when another bench will hear the case.

Advocate General Kamal Trivedi requested the court to stay its order, saying the state wanted to challenge it before the Supreme Court. However, the bench rejected the request.