Justice Katju puts six big questions to ex-CJI Lahoti

Justice Katju puts six big questions to ex-CJI Lahoti

Alleges that he made decisions without consulting collegium

Justice Katju puts six big questions to ex-CJI Lahoti

After former chief justice of India R C Lahoti dismissed allegations of graft by saying that he had “never done anything wrong in his life”, former Supreme Court judge Markandey Katju on Tuesday posed fresh questions to him over the extension granted to an additional judge of the Madras High Court.

Directing six big questions at Lahoti on his blog, Katju does not seem to be backing down from putting the former CJI and his successors – Justices Y K Sabharwal and K G Balakrishnan – on the spot.

“Is it, or is it not, correct that after receiving the adverse IB report against the additional judge, Justice Lahoti, who was then CJI, called a meeting of the three-judge Supreme Court collegium – consisting of himself, Justice Sabarwal and Justice Ruma Pal – and the three-judge collegium having perused the IB report recommended to the Government of India not to extend the 2 year term of that additional judge?” he asked.

Katju also claimed to have had recommended an Intelligence Bureau enquiry after receiving complaints of corruption against the judge in question.

“Is it, or is it not, correct that on my request, Justice Lahoti ordered a secret IB enquiry against that judge?”

Further, the former Supreme Court judge indirectly accused Lahoti of making an independent decision without consulting the other members of the collegium.

“Is it, or is it not, correct that after that recommendation of the three-judge collegium of the Supreme Court was sent to the Government of India, he (Justice Lahoti), on his own, without consulting his two other Supreme Court collegium colleagues, wrote a letter to the Government of India seeking another one-year term as additional judge for the concerned judge?”

Saying that the Intelligence Bureau report pointed out that the judge in question was indulging in corruption, Katju asked Lahoti to explain why he still recommended an extension.

In a simple justification of his late disclosure, Katju said that he was merely posting about his experiences in the Madras High Court, where he  was chief justice in 2004.

“Some people have commented about the timing of my statement. What happened was that some Tamilians had commented on Facebook that I am posting several matters on my Facebook post, so I should also post some of my experiences in Madras High Court. Then I started posting about my experiences there, and it was at time I remembered this experience too, and posted it,” Katju wrote.