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Have nothing to say: Manmohan Singh on Justice Markandey Katju`s charge

By Ritesh K Srivastava | Last Updated: Tuesday, July 22, 2014 - 20:54

Zee Media Bureau/Ritesh K Srivastava

New Delhi: While the allegations of corruption in judiciary made by ex-Supreme Court Justice Markandey Katju continues to raise the political temperature of the country, former prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh on Tuesday broke his silence on the issue and said that he had nothing more to add since his colleague HR Bhardwaj had already spoken on the same.

"The then law minister HR Bhardwaj has explained everything. I have nothing more to add." Dr Manmohan Singh was quoted as telling a news channel.

The reaction from Dr Singh came after the ruling BJP asked the Congress party to clear the stand on the issue.

Press Council of India chairman Justice Markandey Katju had recently created a flutter by claiming that a District Judge in Tamil Nadu was elevated as an Additional Judge of the Madras High Court despite charges of corruption against him.

Katju had also alleged that former CJI RC Lahoti made a compromise by allowing the corrupt judge to continue despite the adverse Intelligence Bureau report against him. The matter related to the time when the Congress-led UPA government was in power and its ally the DMK, was in power in Tamil Nadu.

"This is a glaring example of political interference in the appointment of judges," Katju said.
The Lok Sabha was again disrupted today due to uproar by AIADMK members over Katju`s allegations of corruption in judiciary while the government admitted that the incident had indeed taken place.

Katju had made this revelation in his blog posted on Sunday.

The AIADMK MPs charged their arch-rival DMK of interfering in the appointment of the high court judge when Katju was the chief justice of the Madras High Court in 2004 and sought to know who in the DMK had pressurised the then UPA government not to take action against the judge.

"In 2003, the collegium had certain reservations and had made some enquiries and decided that the case of this judge should not be taken up," Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told the Lok Sabha amid a ruckus created on the issue by the AIADMK members.
Prasad said later during the UPA rule, a clarification was sought by the Prime Minister`s Office as to why the judge should not be recommended. "The collegium again said he should not have been recommended at all."

Later, the Law Ministry wrote a note to the collegium following which it said that his case can be considered for some extension, Prasad said.

The Law Minister, however, said the government was "quite keen" to appoint a National Judicial Commission for making such appointments to improve the system of judicial appointments.

First Published: Tuesday, July 22, 2014 - 17:13
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