EDITORIAL MESSAGE FOR TODAY A ploughman on his legs is higher than a gentleman on his kness. FRANKLIN
Corruption in Judiciary
Recent revelation of three sensational corruption cases involving Judges of the higher judiciary has confirmed that cancer of corruption has penetrated the impregnable citadel of High Courts and even the Supreme Court and the image of judiciary taking a beating. The Chief Justice of India, KG Balakrishnan has recommended the removal of Calcutta High Court Judge, Justice Soumitra Sen under Art 217(1) read with Art124 (4) of the Constitution of India for committing impropriety bringing disrepute to the high judicial office. Sen, as an Advocate committed misappropriation of Rs 331akhs received as receiver on behalf of Steel Authority of India and kept it in his personal saving bank account without court authority. Later under court orders, he deposited Rs 57 lakh including interest. This will be the second impeachment proceedings against a Judge. The second case now known as cash-at-Judge door relate to another High Court Judge of Punjab and Haryana High Court. In this case a packet containing Rs 15 lakh meant for Justice Nirmal Yadav was mistakenly delivered at Justice Nirmaljeet Kaurs residence. Justice Kaur reported the matter to the Chief Justice and the Police. The Additional Advocate General who sent the packet has been arrested and he confessed that he was acting as a conduit for a Delhi based property dealer and Justice Nirmal Yadav. The Chief Justice of India has constituted a three Judge Enquiry committee and a parallel CBI probe is on. The CJI has allowed the CBI to interrogate the Judges.
The third case related to a Public Interest Litigation now being heard in the Supreme Court alleging misappropriation of Rs.23 crore of provident fund money of Grade IV employees of Ghaziabad District court over a period of time involving 34 judges out of which one is now a Supreme Court Judge, ten High Court Judges and 23 lower court Judges. The amount was siphoned off to purchase costly electrical gadgets, air-conditioners, refrigerators and even costly liquour. The Superintendent of Police who made a preliminary enquiry has found a prima-facie case and recommended a CBI enquiry. The Supreme Court has asked a report from the UP government. All these allegations against the judges should be thoroughly probed and guilty judges punished. Resignation or transfer is not punishment and impeachment procedure is along drawn exercise. An ex-Chief Justice of India, Justice Bhagwati has recommended setting up of a National Judicial Commission to enquire allegations against the Judges. The Judges Inquiry Bill-2006 should also be expeditiously enacted into a law.