Are our judges corrupt?
By Binu Paul, SiliconIndia | Friday, 29 April 2011, 08:31 Hrs | 43 Comments
The rampart corruption in the judiciary became an open secret to all when former law minister and senior advocate Shanti Bhushan said in an interview to Tehelka that eight of the last sixteen Chief Justices of India were definitely corrupt. He said, "In my view, out of the last 16 to 17 Chief Justices, half have been corrupt. I can't prove this, though we had evidence against Punchhi, Anand, and Sabharwal on the basis of which we sought their impeachment."
The stain of corruption has been present on many of our Supreme Court Chief Justices from early 1990s although many are not proven. Justice Ranganath Mishra who headed the apex court during 1990-91 period gave a clean chit to the Congress party in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots and later the Congress party bestowed him with a Rajya Sabha nomination. While Justice Kamal Narain Singh was accused of passing orders in favour of Jain Exports, Justice A.M. Ahmadi nullified the charge of culpable homicide in the Bhopal gas leak case against an earlier Supreme Court judgment. Justice A.S. Anand was accused of passing orders in favor of his relatives in some controversial land deals. Justice M.M. Punchhi and Y.K. Sabharwal had been under the shadow of suspicion for many unusually benevolent orders for their near and dear ones.
KG Balakrishnan who brought immense glory to the sleepy village of Kaduthuruthy in Kerala by becoming the first Dalit Chief Justice of India, has been stripped off his reputation over allegations of unaccounted wealth amassment by his sons-in-law and brother K.G. Bhaskaran. One of his sons-in-law, P.V. Srinijin, a former Youth Congress office-bearer and a Congress candidate in the 2006 assembly polls, gathered a slew of properties and a number of vehicles over a span of just three years.
The former Chief Justice of Karnataka High Court, P.D. Dinakaran is facing impeachment proceedings in the Rajya Sabha for amassing wealth disproportionate to known sources of income. He has also been tainted with charges of land-grabbing and securing five housing board plots in the name of his relatives.
According to a survey done by the global anti-corruption group Transparency International few years back, nearly 77 percent of Indians believe the country's judiciary is corrupt, and 36 percent paid bribes to the judiciary that year. Does this mean that the majority of our judges are corrupt? Can we expect a fair and impartial trial in this highly corrupt system?
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