11:52 pm - Thursday November 5, 2015

Justice Katju strikes again: Claims Allahabad HC judge was corrupt

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Justice Markandey Katju is continuing his onslaught against corrupt judges in the judiciary.
In his latest blog post, the former Supreme Court judge has alleged that there was a “judge in a High Court who had a very bad reputation about his integrity, and on this account was transferred to Allahabad High Court,” where too he continued with his corruption and that three mobile phones of this judge were tapped by intelligence agencies and revealed that he was corrupt.
According to Katju’s post, the judge in question was the Acting Chief Justice of Allahabad High Court at one point of time and people were demanding that he be elevated to the Supreme Court.
Katju goes on to note,
“the then Chief Justice of India, Justice Kapadia, had received several complaints about this Judge that even at Allahabad he was indulging in corruption,and Justice Kapadia requested me to find out the true facts about that Judge ( I was then a Judge of the Supreme Court). At that time I had to go to Allahabad, my home town for attending a function, and while there I contacted some lawyers I knew, and got 3 mobile numbers of the agents of this Judge through whom he was taking money. On returning to Delhi I gave these 3 mobile numbers to Justice Kapadia, and suggested that he get these numbers tapped through intelligence agencies. About 2 months thereafter Justice Kapadia told me that he had done as I had suggested, and the conversations tapped revealed the corruption of this Judge.”
According to Katju, given that the CJI had proof of his corruption, the judge should have been asked for resignation, failing which impeachment proceedings should have been started, but nothing of the sort happened.
Katju’s argument is that corruption is rampant and even well-known but, “most Chief Justices of India are reluctant to expose corruption in the judiciary thinking that this will defame the judiciary, and so they prefer to bury corruption under the carpet..”Katju then goes on to give another example of how he had tried to stop corruption in the judiciary when he was Acting Chief Justice of Allahabad High Court and had told then Chief Justice of India Justice Lahoti, about five corrupt judges in his court.
He writes,
“Justice Lahoti asked me what should be done ? I replied that if he permitted, I would solve the problem in 24 hours. He asked, how ?
I replied that I was going back to Allahabad by the night train, and on reaching there would call the Registrar General and tell him to telephone these 5 Judges, and tell them that the Chief Justice had instructed that they would not be allowed entry into the High Court premises. Police was being posted at the gate of the High Court with instruction from me that these judges were not to be allowed entry. Their chambers had been locked, and they will receive their salary checks at home, and they need not come to the High Court. I did not want to see them inside the High Court premises as they had disgraced the High Court.
When I said this Justice Lahoti said “Please do not do this, because then the politicians will get a handle, and then they will set up a National Judicial Commission”. I replied that since he was not permitting me to do this, i would not, but he may take whatever action he thought fit.”
While the judges were later transferred, according to Katju this isn’t a solution. Kajtu also asks in his blogpost, “does corruption by Judges defame the judiciary, or does exposing such corruption defame it?”

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