Bombay HC Judge Bharati Dangre Recuses From Hearing Plea In Economic Offence Case, Calls Out ‘Forum Shopping’

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Bombay HC judge Bharati Dangre recuses from hearing plea

Bombay High Court Judge Bharati Dangre Steps Down from Economic Offence Case, Cites ‘Forum Shopping’ Concerns

Bombay High Court Judge Bharati Dangre has withdrawn herself from presiding over a crucial economic offence case, citing concerns of ‘forum shopping.’ The decision comes as a response to growing apprehensions within the judiciary regarding the practice of selectively choosing a particular court or jurisdiction to file cases, often with the aim of securing a favorable outcome.

In her recusal statement, Judge Dangre emphasized the need to uphold the integrity of the judicial system and maintain public trust. She expressed concerns that the case in question appeared to be part of a broader trend where litigants sought specific judges or forums based on their perceived bias or inclination towards certain outcomes.

Forum shopping has been a recurring issue within the legal landscape, where litigants strategically file cases in jurisdictions that they believe will be most sympathetic to their cause. This practice not only undermines the principle of judicial impartiality but also erodes public faith in the justice system.

Judge Dangre’s decision to recuse herself underscores the importance of addressing this concern at a systemic level. Legal experts and scholars have long advocated for reforms that would discourage forum shopping, such as random case allocation and greater transparency in the assignment of cases to judges.

The case itself involves allegations of economic offences, making it particularly sensitive given the potential consequences for the accused. Judge Dangre’s recusal serves as a reminder that judges must not only be impartial in their decision-making but also be seen as such to ensure justice is not only done but is also perceived to be done.

The Bombay High Court administration has taken note of the concerns raised by Judge Dangre and is reportedly considering measures to address forum shopping within the jurisdiction. These may include randomizing case assignments and implementing guidelines to ensure equitable distribution of cases among judges.

In an era where public trust in institutions is paramount, Judge Dangre’s principled stand against forum shopping sends a clear message that the judiciary is committed to upholding the highest standards of justice and fairness. This case may serve as a catalyst for broader discussions on legal reforms aimed at bolstering the credibility of the justice system in India.

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