When the Assembly had a run-in with judges early this year

MLAs had objected to circular against sharing dais at court events

When the Assembly had a run-in with judges early this year

Two ministers were forced to stay away from an event in Dharwad on Saturday, after Supreme Court judge Justice Mohan Shanthangowder refused to share the dais with them.

However, such differences are not new. The High Court registrar general's circular, barring ministers and legislators from sitting on the dais during the inauguration of court buildings, had triggered an outburst from members against the judiciary in the Assembly on February 9.

The members, cutting across party lines, said the circular was an insult to the legislature. They even sought a probe into judges' assets.

The MLAs contention was that court buildings were constructed using taxpayers' money and the judiciary did not have any exclusive right over them. Legislators were the custodians of taxpayers' money, they had said.

Congress MLA K N Rajanna (Congress) had said, "Judges many a time forget that they are humans. We cannot speak against them. They threaten us with contempt of court."

He even wanted the government to order a probe into the assets of all judges.

Leader of the Opposition Jagadish Shettar had said that a former chief justice of India had gone on record, saying that 50% of the judges were corrupt.

Former Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister S Suresh Kumar, recalling an incident, said he had to suffer the humiliation of being subjected to police verification. The police were acting on a direction from a judge who did not want to share the dais with anyone with criminal antecedents at the inauguration of a court building at Holalkere in Chitradurga district.

Sa Ra Mahesh (JD-S) said a former chief justice, instead of being in the court, was found shopping in a jewellery shop, where he collapsed and had to be rushed to the hospital.

A section of MLAs even demanded that the court registrar be summoned for a clarification. They termed the circular as "breach of privilege" and a humiliating one for legislators. They said it affected their basic right.

Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister T B Jayachandra had met the then chief justice and apprised him of the MLAs' feelings.

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