'Ex-CJI didn't act against corrupt judge'

'Ex-CJI didn't act against corrupt judge'

Former Supreme Court judge Justice Markandey Katju on Sunday accused former Chief Justice of India S H Kapadia of failing to take action against a “corrupt” Allahabad High Court judge.

In his latest blog post, the Press Council of India chairman detailed how information about the HC judge’s conduct came out. He said Justice Kapadia, who was CJI from May 12, 2010, to September 28, 2012, after receiving complaints about the judge, asked him to find the truth. According to the blog, Katju went to Allahabad, got three mobile numbers of “agents of this judge” and suggested that Justice Kapadia get those numbers tapped.

“About two months later, Justice Kapadia told me he had done as I had suggested and the conversations tapped revealed the corruption of this judge,” he said, adding that Kapadia did not act.

“Justice Kapadia should have called this judge to Delhi and asked for his resignation, failing which he would refer the matter to Parliament for impeachment, but he did no such thing, though he did not allow the judge to become Chief Justice of any High Court or a Supreme Court judge,” he wrote, without disclosing the name of the judge.

Katju’s fresh post is the latest in a series of his disclosures on corruption in judiciary. He had earlier accused three former CJIs — R C Lahoti, Y K Sabharwal and K G Balakrishnan — of having committed “improper compromises” with regard to the appointment of a Madras HC judge. “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, not realising that the bulge under the carpet will show,” Katju said.

In another charge against ex-CJI Lahoti, Katju said he gave him information about five judges of a HC “doing shocking things”, but Justice Lahoti did not agree to his suggestion of not allowing the five judges into court premises though “they had disgraced the HC”.

“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’,” Katju said. “I replied that since he was not permitting me to do this, I would not, but he may take whatever action he thought fit. Later, some of the 5 judges whose names I gave were transferred to another High Court. But is transfer a solution? Such corrupt judges should be sacked, but this is not done to ‘avoid defaming the judiciary’,” he wrote.

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