Jurist suggests probe to fix if ex-CJI knew of Raja`s act

Shanti Bhushan demanded a probe to ascertain if Justice H L Gokhale had named the then Telecom Minister, A Raja, in his communication to the then CJI K G Balakrishnan.

Last Updated: Dec 14, 2010, 22:33 PM IST

New Delhi: Noted jurist Shanti Bhushan
today demanded a probe to ascertain if Justice H L Gokhale had
named the then Telecom Minister, A Raja, in his communication
to the then CJI K G Balakrishnan on the issue of influencing a
judge in Madras High Court in a case.

Bhushan sought the probe after Justice Gokhale, former
Chief Justice of Madras High Court and now a Supreme Court
judge, issued a statement saying that he in his communication
as the Chief Justice last year had clearly spelled out Raja`s
name, detailing his misdemeanour to approach Justice S
Reghupathi, which had been denied by Balakrishnan earlier.
"Only the records of the Supreme Court will say what
is the correct position," Bhushan said, suggesting a probe to
set the record straight on the controversy.

"This is very surprising if Justice Gokhale is saying
that the letter sent to Balakrishnan mentioned that Justice
Reghupathi was approached in the name of Raja.... It is
surprising that the former CJI is denying the fact that no
letter has been received by him mentioning Raja`s name," said
Shanti Bhushan.

Maintaining that ex-CJI should have taken due note of
Justice Gokhale`s communication, Shanti Bhushan said, "Former
CJI Balakrishnan might not have taken serious notice of the
letter. Although his duty was to take very serious notice of
the letter coming from a judge of a High Court and mentioning
about an attempt to influence him in a particular case on
behalf of a minister.

"Serious notice should have been taken and some action
should have been taken into the matter," Bhushan said.

"In the Supreme Court, records are kept and that
letter must have been put up before the then CJI. It was such
an important issue involving a high court judge and a
minister," said Bhushan.

"When such letters are put up before a judge or a
minister, they always initial it that they have seen it and
also direct appropriate action," he said.

On Reghupathi`s letter, Bhushan said that it was
appropriate that he informed the higher authority about the
incident.

"I think it was quite appropriate of justice
Reghupathi to leave it for CJI as to what action should be
taken into the matter," he added.

Bhushan said that the matter has gained significance
especially in the wake of the 2G spectrum scam.

Justice Gokhale issued the statement contradicting
former CJI Balakrishnan`s statement on December 8 that the
letter received by him last year from Justice Gokhale had no
mention of Raja or any Union Minister.

-PTI