Katju now trains guns on ex-CJI Balakrishnan

Katju now trains guns on ex-CJI Balakrishnan

Says he wanted judge with 'bad reputation' in SC

Katju now trains guns on ex-CJI Balakrishnan

In a fresh attack, Press Council of India chairman Justice Markandey Katju on Monday said former Chief Justice of India (CJI) K G Balakrishnan had pushed for the elevation of a Madras High Court judge with a “bad reputation” to the apex court.

He said the collegium, then headed by Justice Balakrishnan and having Justice S H Kapadia as one of its members, had “almost succeeded” in bringing the judge to the apex court, but lawyers in Tamil Nadu thwarted the effort by producing “voluminous documentary evidence of his corruption”.

Justice K G Balakrishnan, chairman of the National Human Rights Commission, was not immediately available for comments.

Katju had earlier accused Justice Balakrishnan and two other former CJIs of “improper compromises” during the UPA regime in retaining a Tamil Nadu judge, who was accused of corruption. Justice Balakrishnan had called the allegations baseless.

Katju, himself a former SC judge, levelled the fresh charges on his blog. This post was the newest in a series, including the last one on Sunday, where he had accused Justice Kapadia of taking no action against a corrupt Allahabad HC judge.

“I may remind him (Kapadia) that the Supreme Court collegium, headed by (then) CJI K G Balakrishnan, and of which Justice Kapadia was a member, almost succeeded in bringing a totally unfit person into the Supreme Court,” wrote Katju.

“That judge was a judge of the Madras High Court when I was chief justice there, so I knew all about his bad reputation. Later, he was made chief justice of another high court, and was being considered for elevation to the Supreme court,” he further said.

Katju said one day during lunch interval, he went to Justice Kapadia's chamber and told him about the “bad reputation” of the judge, giving details.

“I told him that I was not in the Supreme Court collegium, but he was, and now it was for him to do whatever he thought proper, and I had done my duty. There was no use informing Justice Balakrishnan, since it was he who was pushing for the judge's elevation to the Supreme Court,” he wrote.

Katju further said that after listening to him, Justice Kapadia thanked him and said if he had such information in future, it too should be passed on to him.

“Despite this, the collegium, of which Justice Kapadia was a member, recommended the name of the judge having questionable integrity, and he would have definitely been elevated to the Supreme Court but for the Tamil Nadu lawyers, who produced voluminous documentary evidence of his corruption,” wrote Katju.