The Madhya Pradesh High Court Bar Association has written to Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, requesting him to transfer the court’s third most senior judge, Sanjay Yadav, from the state because of his alleged misbehaviour with lawyers, Live Law reported on Friday.

The lawyers are apprehensive that Yadav may become the acting chief justice at the court’s principal bench in Jabalpur after the Supreme Court Collegium recommended the elevation of two judges senior to him. Justice Ravi Shankar Jha, who is the high court’s acting chief justice, has been named for the post of chief justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court while Justice JK Maheshwari’s name has been proposed for appointment as the first chief justice of the Andhra Pradesh High Court.

“Honourable Shri Justice Sanjay Yadav’s presence at Jabalpur in his capacity as administrative judge/acting chief justice shall be detrimental to the smooth functioning of the high court and shall most positively derail the justice dispensation process,” Bar and Bench quoted the bar association as saying in its September 5 resolution that was signed by its president and secretary, as well as the secretary of the district bar association.

The lawyers’ association alleged that Yadav’s “consistent and continuous misbehaviour with advocates” factored in its decision to pass the resolution. “There have been abstentions and boycott of his lordship’s court on many an occasion,” it added. “As honourable Shri Justice Sanjay Yadav hails from Jabalpur, he has personal likes and dislikes towards counsels, which also is clearly reflected in his court conduct.”

The bar association alleged lawyers and bar associations had lodged several complaints. “In the past also his lordship was transferred from the principal bench Jabalpur to the the bench at Gwalior for the same reasons,” it added.The bar associations at Gwalior and Indore benches of the High Court on many occasions have passed resolution seeking for transfer of Justice Shri Sanjay Yadav out of state.”

The High Court Bar Association accused the judge of having “a vindictive attitude and personality hostility with a number of practising advocates at Jabalpur”. It added that many senior lawyers had stopped appearing in Yadav’s court. “The environment in his courtroom continuously remains charged and hostile and potentially heading to conflict on day to day basis,” the lawyers’ association told Gogoi.

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