Reasonable and bonafide apprehension of bias is valid cause for transfer of case

Bombay High Court: A Single Judge Bench of A.M. Badar, J allowed the application demanding the transfer of case to another court under Section 407 of the CrPC due to the reasonable apprehension of bias in the furtherance of justice.

The accused in the present case made an application before the Court for the transfer of the POCSO Special Case No. 481 of 2014 from the designated Judge under POCSO Act 2012 for Greater Bombay presiding over at Court No. 35 of the City Civil and Sessions Court, Mumbai to another court in the interest of justice. The applicant alleged that despite an interim order to adjourn the hearing, the accused was compelled to file adjournment applications on several dates and also charged for that by the said Judge.

The Court held that that the POCSO Judge proceeded to record certain things in his orders despite an order of adjournment pending disposal of the said criminal writ petition The Court also observed that what was required was the impression that a litigant receives in the wake of the facts recorded and held that the applicant was holding the reasonable and bonafide apprehension of bias in the delivery of justice by the learned trial Judge and would not be granted a fair trial. Thereby, Court allowing the application ordered to transfer the case to any other designated Judge under POCSO Act, 2012. [Dr. Jayesh Arjun Katira v. State of Maharashtra, 2017 SCC OnLine Bom 161, decided on 12-01-2017 ]

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