It is enlightening to read Justice Markandey Katju’s disclosure of certain events at the highest level of judiciary. He deserves all praise and whole hearted support of those who wish well for the future of judiciary and this nation, because, in our system of governance, if judiciary being the last resort for seeking justice gets tainted, common man will have no alternative but to turn to Dons. And if majority starts doing it, that will be the end of the rule of law.
Earlier Justice Katju had disclosed how a Judge of Tamilnadu High Court with adverse reports against his integrity was elevated to the Supreme Court through political and judicial maneuverings. According to today’s (T. O. I. 11th August, 2014) newspaper report, Justice Katju has again cited cases in which proper action was not taken against Allahabad High Court judges, about whose corruption he had reported to the then C. J. I. The C. J. I. is reported to have stated that during his tenure he had transferred maximum number of corrupt judges and blocked elevation of some to the Supreme Court. Even if this is cent-percent true, it certainly does not amount to sufficient action against corrupt judges. The fact that insufficient action against corrupt judges is not uncommon is clear from the well publicized cases of Justice Ramaswamy (against whom charges were proved by a three judges’ committee and subsequent impeachment proceedings failed due to partisan politics), Justice Dinakaran (who was only transferred to Sikkim after the charges were substantiated in enquiry) and a C. J. I. who got important post retirement job despite serious allegations against him.
The judiciary at district level is more important for common man because it affects the life of common man far more than the higher judiciary. Therefore, it is very important to ensure that judicial officers act with integrity. And any proactive administrative judge can easily find the truth about the integrity of various judicial officers there by talking privately with some advocates or police/prosecuting officers or somebody who had to contest any case there. Thereafter, he can order action or even arrange trapping a corrupt judicial officer. A vigilance cell under a judge also exists in the High Courts, but any judicial officer being trapped while accepting bribe is almost unheard of.
There are cases in which blatant neglect of rules, laws or duty was done but no or insufficient action was taken. I know a case of Kanpur Nagar in which the wife was done to death allegedly by her husband in the year 1982, and the trial is commencing now in 2014. The accused husband has been on bail in the meanwhile. About another case I had read a news report recently that appeal of a life convict has been rejected after 35 years and the convict has been out on bail during these long years. According to another recent report a judge of Karnataka High Court has ordered suspension of a Superintendent of Police, which is against rules because this is the prerogative of the President or of an authority to whom he delegates this power. Nobody or any judicial body has come forward to speak against such an order. If this is allowed today, tomorrow suspension of Army Chief or Governor or even P. M. may be ordered by a judge. And that will be a recipe for chaos in the country.
No doubt that the Higher Judiciary of our country has often led the wavering executive in the right direction, yet nobody can deny that the need for improvement always exists in all creations of this world.