Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: Despite facing questions on the timing of his expose on political interference in judicial appointments, former Supreme Court judge Markandey Katju appears to have decided to fight it out.
Katju in a blog post had claimed that three ex-Chief Justices of India had compromised in giving extension and elevation to an additional judge of Madras High Court under pressure from the UPA government.
Katju charged that despite an adverse report against the said judge, Justices R C Lahoti, Y K Sabharwal and K G Balakrishnan had made "improper compromises" and "succumbed" to political pressure in allowing the judge to continue in office.
Responding to Katju`s charges, Justice Lahoti had said, "Everything is a matter of record. Whatever I have done or not done is all on record with reasons. I have never done anything wrong in my life.”
Not willing to buy his clarification, Katju has posted some specific questions for Justice Lahoti in his blog:
1. Is it , or is it not, correct that I first wrote him a letter from Chennai, stating that there were serious allegations of corruption about an Additional Judge of Madras High Court, and therefore he ( Justice Lahoti ) should get a secret intelligence enquiry held against that Additional Judge,and thereafter I personally met Justice Lahoti at Delhi and again requested for a secret IB enquiry against the Additional Judge about whom I had received several complaints, and from several sources, that he was indulging in corruption?
2. Is it, or is it not, correct that on my request Justice Lahoti ordered a secret IB enquiry against that Judge?
3. Is it, or is it not correct, that a few weeks after I personally met him in Delhi and then returned to Chennai, he telephoned me from Delhi ( while I was at Chennai ) and told me that the IB, after thorough enquiry, gave a report that indeed the Judge was indulging in corruption?
4. Is it , or is it not, correct that after receiving the adverse IB report against the Additional Judge, Justice Lahoti, who was then Chief Justice of India, called a meeting of the 3 Judge Supreme Court Collegium, consisting of himself, Justice Sabarwal, and Justice Ruma Pal, and the 3 Judge Collegium, having perused the IB report recommended to the Government of India not to extend the 2 year term of that Additional Judge?
5. Is it , or is it not, correct that after that recommendation of the 3 Judge Collegium of the Supreme Court was sent to the Government of India, he ( Justice Lahoti ), on his own, without consulting his 2 other Supreme Court Collegium colleagues, wrote a letter to the Government of India asking the Government to give another 1 year term as Additional Judge to the concerned Judge?
6. If indeed the IB reported, after an enquiry, that the Judge was indulging in corruption, why did he ( Justice Lahoti ) recommend to the Government of India to give that corrupt Judge another term of 1 year as Additional Judge in the High Court?
Katju has also offered clarification on the the timing of his disclosure.
“Some people have commented about the timing of my statement. What happened was that some Tamilians had commented on Facebook that I am posting several matters on my Facebook post, so I should also post some of my experiences in Madras High Court. Then I started posting about my experiences there, and it was at time I remembered this experience too, and posted it,” he said.