The Supreme Court has fired two court masters for tampering with its orders in a case against Reliance Communications and Anil Ambani to make it seem like Ambani’s personal appearance in court was not required, The Telegraphreported on Thursday.
In a notice to Ambani on 7 January, the SC had ordered him to be personally present in a contempt case filed by Ericsson India. But the order uploaded on the court website omitted the word “not”, changing the meaning of the court order.
The order on the website read: “personal appearance of the alleged contemnor(s) dispensed with”.
The uploaded order was rectified on 10 January after it was brought to the court’s attention by Ericsson’s lawyer.
The court masters, who are responsible for orders dictated by the court, were dismissed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi after a preliminary inquiry, The Telegraph report said.
Gogoi exercised extraordinary powers under Article 311 of the Constitution to sack the two court officials without employing the usual disciplinary proceedings.
Sources told the daily that the Justices Gogoi and Nariman had taken serious note of the incident. Justice Nariman heads the two-judge bench hearing the case. An inquiry is being held to identify everyone, including lawyers, who may have been involved in changing the order.
The court had on Wednesday reserved its verdict on Ericsson India’s plea seeking contempt action against Reliance Communications Ltd chairman Ambani and two others for non-clearance of Rs 550-crore dues.