Patna HC Judge Faces Criticism for Asking Govt Officer, 'You Got Job Through Reservation?'

Several lawyers in the court laughed at the judge's comments mocking the government officer.

New Delhi: Justice Sandeep Kumar, a judge at the Patna high court, has created controversy for making allegedly casteist remarks and mocking a government official for having been hired in a reserved seat.

In a video of a livestream from Justice Kumar’s court that has gone viral on social media, the judge can be seen hearing a case relating to a district land acquisition officer of the Bihar government named Arvind Kumar Bharti, LiveLaw reported. Bharti has been asked to appear to explain how he released land acquisition to a party while a partition suit was pending. During the hearing, LiveLaw reported, the bench was informed that Bharti had earlier faced a suspension in a vigilance trap case.

Though Justice Kumar adjourned the case to give the parties time to file their responses, he also went ahead and mocked the officer by saying, “Bharti ji, reservation par aaye the naukri me kya? (Bhartiji, you got job through reservation?)”

The officer replied yes. Once Bharti had left the room, several lawyers present started laughing and also made further remarks against Bharti, based on the fact that he had been eligible for a reserved job. “Ab to huzoor samajhiyega baat (Now your lordship will understand the matter),” LiveLaw quoted one lawyer as saying.

Justice Kumar took the matter further, saying, “Nahi, nahi, yeh sab…kuch nahi hota in logon ka…ye bachara paisa jo kamaya hoga khatam kar diya hoga (No, no, nothing will happen to these people. The poor fellow, whatever he might have earned, he might have finished it).”

Several lawyers laughed again at his remarks.

The viral video has led to criticism of Justice Kumar’s comments and the way he made fun of the officer based on his caste.