The question was raised in the case of ‘Alok Kumar Roy v. Dr. S.N. Sarma, (1967)’. An appeal was preferred before Supreme Court by special leave and it was urged on behalf of the appellant that an order passed by a judge when he was working as commissioner of enquiry, should be held correct.
What Supreme Court said-
The Supreme Court said that,
- Often times, Judges of High Courts are appointed under the- Commission of Enquiry Act to head Commissions for various purposes. These Commissions are temporary affairs and many a time their sittings are not continuous. A Judge of the High Court when he is appointed to head a Commission, of this kind does not demit his office as a Judge and when the Commission is not actually sitting he is entitled to sit as a Judge of the High Court.
- It is only where a Judge of the High Court is appointed to another post, which is a whole time post that it may be said that on such appointment he can no longer work as a Judge of the High Court for the time being, though even in such a case, when the work is over, he reverts as a Judge of the High Court without fresh appointment.
- Such, for example, was the case of Income tax Investigation Commission where the appointments were whole time and a, Judge of the High Court appointed as a member of the Investigation Commission could not at the same time work as a Judge of the High Court. But Judges appointed to head Commissions under the Commission of Enquiry Act stand in a different position altogether.
- As we have said, these Commissions are temporary and are not whole time posts and their sittings are not even continuous. In such a case we, are of opinion that a Judge appointed to head a Commission of Enquiry remains as part of the High Court and if the Commission of Enquiry is not working continuously he is entitled to sit and act as a Judge of the High Court in the intervals.
- We are of opinion that where a Judge heads temporary Commissions of Enquiry under the Commission of Enquiry Act, he remains a part of the High Court and is entitled to sit and act as a Judge of the High Court whenever be thinks fit. The appointment of a Judge as Commission of Enquiry does not deprive him of the rights and privileges of a Judge of the High Court. Whenever he finds time to attend to his duties as a Judge of the High Court while acting as a. Commission of Enquiry, he can do so.
Alok Kumar Roy v. Dr. S.N. Sarma, (1967)