Outgoing CJI sad about corruption in judiciary

Outgoing Chief Justice says corruption in judiciary was a cause of concern but it was "miniscule".

New Delhi: Emphasizing that there is `miniscule` corruption in the higher judiciary, outgoing Chief Justice of India (CJI) K.G. Balakrishnan on Monday said he felt sad that motive had been attributed to him in Karnataka Chief Justice P.D. Dinakaran`s case even though all norms had been followed.

"No politician would like to come and meet a judge because he would be in trouble if the judge exposes him," the outgoing CJI, who demits office on Tuesday, told a television news channel, in response to a question on whether politicians or government functionaries ever try to approach judges to influence a verdict.
When asked about several cases of judicial misconduct that have surfaced in the recent past, Balakrishnan said: "Corruption in any instance will bother any Chief Justice but considering the number of cases, the number of judges in this country, it (corruption) is only miniscule."

The CJI also lamented that he had come under a cloud while dealing with allegations against former Karnataka Chief Justice Dinakaran, who has been accused of judicial misconduct and misappropriating government land.

While refusing to answer whether Justice Dinakaran was transferred to the Sikkim High Court, he said: "Normally we don’t disclose all these things (but) some motives were attributed to me also. I felt sorry for that. We worked systematically, following all norms and so I felt sad when somebody attributed motives on something. Then you feel bad about it."

Speaking on the issue of post-retirement assignments for judges of the higher judiciary, Balakrishnan sought to discount the popular impression that "the Supreme Court judges may favour the government to get these posts".

He said the number of tribunals needing the services of retired judges far outnumber the retired judges.

"People think that Supreme Court judges may favour the government to get these posts. But it is the other way: there are an insufficient number of judges to man these tribunals," said the CJI.

The CJI said: "Recently, I got letters from the government to suggest two names for two tribunals (but) we don`t have judges because after justice Tarun Chaterjee there has been no retirement."

"You see many of the tribunals are manned by retired judges of the Supreme Court. How (else) will we carry on this work of the regulatory authorities as we are now in a regulatory regime."

On whether he would be accepting the government`s offer to man the post of national Human Rights Commission chairperson after his retirement, the CJI said: "I am not sure. I have not made up my mind on this."

The CJI, who recently gave verdict on high-voltage
Ambani brothers gas dispute, said that he never felt any
pressure while adjudicating any case.

"I have never felt any pressure in any case that I
have heard," he said adding that "people do not understand the
working of judiciary.”

-Agencies inputs