Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: In a sensational disclosure on “how the system actually works” to aid corruption in judiciary, Markandey Katju, former judge of the Supreme Court and current chairman of the Press Council of India, has claimed that an Additional Judge of the Madras High Court, who had several allegations of corruption against him, was not sacked owing to the pressure put by a Tamil Nadu-based party on the UPA government led by Manmohan Singh.
“There was an Additional Judge of the Madras High Court against whom there were several allegations of corruption. He had been directly appointed as a District Judge in Tamil Nadu, and during his career as District Judge there were as many as 8 adverse entries against him recorded by various portfolio Judges of the Madras High Court. But one Acting Chief Justice of Madras High Court by a single stroke of his pen deleted all those 8 adverse entries, and consequently he became an Additional Judge of the High Court, and he was on that post when I came as Chief Justice of Madras High Court in November 2004,” Katju wrote in his blog.
“That Judge had the solid support of a very important political leader of Tamil Nadu. I was told that this was because while a District Judge he granted bail to that political leader. Since I was getting many reports about his corruption, I requested the Chief Justice of India, Justice Lahoti, to get a secret IB enquiry made about him. A few weeks thereafter, while I was in Chennai, I received a call from the Secretary of the CJI saying that the CJI wanted to talk to me. Justice Lahoti then came on the line and said that what I had complained about had been found true. Evidently the IB had found enough material about the Judge`s corruption.”
“Since the 2 year term as Additional Judge of that person was coming to an end I assumed he would be discontinued as a Judge of the High Court in view of the IB report. However what actually happened was that he got another 1 year appointment as an Additional Judge, though 6 other Additional Judges who had been appointed with him were confirmed and made permanent Judges of the High Court.”
Also Read: Former UPA law minister refutes Katju`s charges, says never yielded to pressure from allies
“I later learnt how this happened. The Supreme Court Collegium consists of 5 senior most Judges for recommending names for appointment as a Supreme Court Judge, and 3 senior most Judges for dealing with High Courts.”
“The 3 senior most Judges in the Supreme Court at that time were the Chief Justice of India, Justice Lahoti, Justice Sabarwal, and Justice Ruma Pal. This Supreme Court Collegium recommended that in view of the adverse IB report the Judge should be discontinued as a High Court Judge after his 2 year term was over, and this recommendation was sent to the Central Government.”