Alld HC moves SC for deletion of "rotten" remarks

Taking strong exception to the Supreme Court`s remarks that "something was rotten" and there was "rampant uncle judge syndrome" was prevalent, the Allahabad High Court has urged the apex court to expunge the remarks.

Last Updated: Dec 09, 2010, 20:29 PM IST

New Delhi: Taking strong exception to the
Supreme Court`s remarks that "something was rotten" and there
was "rampant uncle judge syndrome" was prevalent, the
Allahabad High Court has urged the apex court to expunge the
remarks.

In an application moved through its registry, the High
Court has sought expunction of the remarks on the ground that
they "have made difficult" for the judges to function and
tarnished the reputation of the entire judiciary in Uttar
Pradesh. the state.
"The remarks are unfortunate and uncalled for and has
brought down the image of the Allahabad High Court judges in
the eyes of the general public. The observations had made it
difficult for the judges to function," the application stated.

It submitted judges of the High Court are appointed only
after clearance from the Supreme Court collegiums and as such
there was no scope to question their integrity.

On November 26, in a strong indictment of Allahabad
High Court, the Supreme Court had said "there is something
rotten" there and raised serious questions about integrity of
several of its judges.

"Something is rotten in the State of Denmark, said
Shakespeare in Hamlet, and it can similarly be said that
something is rotten in the Allahabad High Court," a bench
of justices Markandey Katju and Gyan Sudha Mishra had said,
adding the high court "really needs some house cleaning".
The apex court bench had also asked the chief justice
of the high court to take some strong measures, including
recommending "transfers of the incorrigibles".

It had made the remarks in a 12-page order while
making the insinuation that several judges of the high court
suffer from `uncle judge` syndrome, which refers to judges
passing favourable orders for parties represented by lawyers
known to them.

The bench`s remarks came while scrapping a single-
judge bench order of the Allahabad High Court which had asked
a Bahraich-based Waqf Board to temporarily allot a portion of
its land in May-June this year to the proprietors of a circus
for its show during an annual fair.

"The faith of the common man in the country is shaken
to the core by such shocking and outrageous orders," justices
Katju and Mishra had said.

"We are sorry to say a lot of complaints are coming
against certain judges of the Allahabad High Court relating to
their integrity," said the bench, without disclosing the
content of complaints.

Referring to the rampant `uncle judge` syndrome
allegedly plaguing the high court, the apex court bench had
said "some judges have their kith and kin practising in the
same court.

"And within a few years of starting practise, the sons
or relations of the judge become multi-millionaires, have huge
bank balances, luxurious cars, huge houses and are enjoying a
luxurious life.

"This is a far cry from the days when the sons and
other relatives of judges could derive no benefit from their
relationship and had to struggle at the bar like any other
lawyer," the bench added.

The judge, however, sought to add a note of caution,
saying "we do not mean to say that all lawyers who have close
relations as judges of the high court are misusing that
relationship.

"Some are scrupulously taking care that no one should
lift a finger on this account. However, others are shamelessly
taking advantage of this relationship," the judges had said.

"There are other serious complaints also against some
judges of the high court," they said in a joint order, adding,
"the Allahabad High Court really needs some house cleaning
(both Allahabad and Lucknow Bench).

"We request the chief justice of the high court to do
the needful even if he has to take some strong measures,
including recommending transfers of the incorrigibles,"
justices Katju and Mishra said and also asked the apex court
treasury to send their order to the Allahabad High Court
chief justice to "do the needful".

The judges had flown off the handle after detecting
some legal errors in the high court order, which included
absence of territorial jurisdiction to pass it as Bahraich
falls under the jurisdiction of the high court`s Lucknow
bench.

The high court had also granted full legal relief to
the circus proprietor in an interim order, which is barred in
judicial proceedings, the apex court bench pointed out.

PTI