SC damns judges of Allahabad High Court

Apex court Bench terms some judges rotten

SC damns judges of Allahabad High Court

In strongly worded remarks, a Bench of Justices Markandey Katju and Gyan Sudha Mishra said: “Something is rotten in the State of Denmark, said Shakespeare in Hamlet, and it can similarly be said that something is rotten in the Allahabad High Court which really needs some house cleaning.”

The judges made the stinging and insinuating observation in a 12-page order and urged the Allahabad High Court chief justice to initiate strong measures, including recommending “transfers of the incorrigibles.”

The apex court warned that the “uncle judge” syndrome, which refers to judges passing favourable orders for parties represented by lawyers known to them, should end at the high court. The bench flew into a rage while scrapping a single-judge Bench order of the Allahabad High Court which had asked a Bahraich-based Waqf Board to temporarily allot a portion of its land in May-June this year to the proprietors of a circus for its show during an annual fair.

“The faith of the common man in the country is shaken to the core by such shocking and outrageous orders,” the bench said.“We are sorry to say but a lot of complaints are coming against certain judges of the Allahabad High Court relating to their integrity,” the Bench said, without disclosing the contents.

Referring to the rampant “uncle judge” syndrome allegedly plaguing the High Court, the Bench said: “Some judges have their kith and kin practising in the same court. And within a few years of starting practice, the sons or relations of the judge become multi-millionaires, have huge bank balances, luxurious cars, huge houses and are enjoying a luxurious life.”

An unrelenting Supreme Court said: “This is a far cry from the days when the sons and other relatives of judges could derive no benefit from their relationship and had to struggle at the bar like any other lawyer.”

Note of caution

The judges, however, sought to add a note of caution, saying: “We do not mean to say that all lawyers who have close relations as judges of the high court are misusing that relationship.

“Some are scrupulously taking care that no one should lift a finger on this account. However, others are shamelessly taking advantage of this relationship.”

“There were other serious complaints against some judges of the high court,” the Bench.  “The Allahabad High Court really needs some house cleaning (both Allahabad and the Lucknow benches),” said in its order.

Strong measures

Inviting the high court chief justice “to do the needful,” the Bench said actions could include taking “some strong measures, including recommending transfers of the incorrigibles.”

Justices Katju and Mishra asked the Supreme Court treasury to dispatch their order to the Allahabad High Court chief justice to “do the needful.”

The judges flew off the handle after detecting some legal errors in the high court order, which included absence of territorial jurisdiction to pass it as Bahraich was under the jurisdiction of the high court’s Lucknow Bench.

The high court had also granted full legal relief to the circus proprietor in an interim order, which is barred in judicial proceedings, the apex court Bench pointed out.

Indictment

*  Many judges of the HC suffer from ‘uncle judge syndrome’
*   This means judges pass favourable orders for parties represented by lawyers known to them
*   The HC judges’ integrity under cloud
*   Some judges’ kith and kin practise in the same court
*   They have become filthy rich

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