HC reserves order on PIL seeking CBI probe into Justice Katju's charge

 The Delhi High Court on Wednesday reserved its verdict on a PIL seeking a CBI probe into Press Council of India head Markandey Katju's charge that three former Chief Justices of India made "improper compromises" to save a "tainted" judge of the Madras High Court.

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Wednesday reserved its verdict on a PIL seeking a CBI probe into Press Council of India head Markandey Katju's charge that three former Chief Justices of India made "improper compromises" to save a "tainted" judge of the Madras High Court.

"We will pass an order," a bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw said after the brief hearing on the PIL filed by advocate R P Luthra in his personal capacity.

"I want that the majesty of law should prevail. I have not filed this petition against any individual judge. This is based on my experience as a lawyer and I have referred to the blog written by former Supreme Court judge Justice Markandey Katju," Luthra said and read out the incriminating portion of the blog.

He also referred to certain news reports in support of his claim that a criminal probe was needed into the allegations made by Justice Katju.

Earlier, the court had asked the lawyer to examine the 2009 Supreme Court verdict on the issue pertaining to the Madras HC judge.

"The Supreme Court has already dealt with this very particular issue in 2009 and had given a judgement on it. Where is the question of examining it by another court? You file Public Interest Litigation without preparing for it.

"Please examine that decision (of the Supreme Court) and then come back," the bench had said.

The petition has said that as per the allegations of Justice Katju, commission of various cognizable offences, including those under the Prevention of Corruption Act and IPC, have surfaced.

Katju had alleged three former CJIs--Justices R C Lahoti, Y K Sabharwal and K G Balakrishnan--made "improper compromises" and "succumbed to political pressure" in allowing the Tamil Nadu judge to continue despite an "adverse" Intelligence Bureau (IB) report on allegations of corruption against him.

He had alleged that the former CJIs had compromised at the instance of UPA government in the wake of pressure from one of its allies, apparently DMK, a charge rubbished by them.

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