Half of CJIs were corrupt, says former law minister

Half of CJIs were corrupt, says former law minister

Pleading to intervene in a contempt case involving his son Prashant Bhushan, the senior advocate submitted the information about the former CJIs in a sealed envelope to the Bench hearing the contempt matter. Bhushan’s application, which indicated that he was not sure about the integrity of two Chief Justices, did not include Justice K G Balakrishnan and Chief Justice S H Kapadia.

Bhushan’s application sought permission to be party to the litigation before the SC over the contempt case. Although in the form of a sworn affidavit, the application is yet to be admitted by the Bench.

The contempt case initiated by a special forest bench headed by Balakrishnan was over an article titled “Half of the last 16 chief justices were corrupt’’, carried by Tehelka magazine that talked about Prashant Bhushan and his pursuit to force judicial accountability in India.

The notice was served on him for his views on attributing judicial impropriety against an SC judge. The judge, Bhushan reportedly alleged, was part of a Bench that pronounced a judgement to allot mine lease in favour of a company, while holding shares in it.Prashant Bhushan has already defended the notice served on him by saying that he did not level allegations of “financial corruption” against a sitting SC judge.

In an affidavit, he said, “I, along with my colleagues in the campaign for judicial accountability, have always held the view that an independent full-time National Judicial Commission should be created for a transparent method for selecting and appointing judges of the higher judiciary, as well as for investigating complaints against them.”
In Thursday’s affidavit, Shanti Bhushan said, “…the applicant is filing the present application for his impleadment as Respondent No 3 in the aforementioned contempt petition as the applicant is making a categorical statement in the present application that eight of the last 16 Chief Justices of India were definitely corrupt.’’ Shanti Bhushan also said: “He would consider it a great honour to spend time in jail for making an effort to get for the people of India an honest and clean judiciary.

“That there was a time when it was almost impossible even to think that a judge of a High court or the Supreme Court could be corrupt. Things have changed drastically during the last 2 or 3 decades during which corruption has been growing in the Indian judiciary.”

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