A serving judge of the Supreme Court, H.N. Gokhale, has today taken the wind out of the former chief justice of India K.G. Balakrishnan’s sails by making a statement that on the 6th July 2009, as the then chief justice of the Madras High Court, he had forwarded to Balakrishnan a letter received from Reghupathy, a brother judge, complaining of A. Raja, the then Union Telecom minister, trying to influence him to grant anticipatory bail to certain persons. He went on to say that in August 2009 he had received an acknowledgement from Balakrishnan. Only a few days back Balakrishnan had said in a press conference that neither Reghupathy’s letter nor Gokhale’s forwarding letter had mentioned Raja’s name, he, therefore, did not consider it appropriate to talk to the prime minister in the matter. He had added that the concerned letters would still be in the files of the chief justice of India and they would corroborate his statement.
The matter is not very old, it relates to July-August 2009. It is, therefore, perfectly in order to believe that neither gentleman’s memory is playing tricks with him. One the chairman of the National Human Rights Commission, the other a judge of the Supreme Court, both should also be in full control of their other mental faculties. What can then explain their diametrically opposite statements about the same fact? I am not getting any pleasure in saying it but one of the two is clearly lying and simply by reading Reghupathy’s letter it can be easily determined who has been economical with truth. But if I know the Supreme Court and the Central government well, as I do, they would never like to get to the truth. They would just hope that a bigger scandal would make the people forget about this controversy.
If nothing is done on this issue it would be very unfortunate because that would allow either a liar to continue as a judge of the apex court or as the chairman of the National Human Rights Commission, either way it would be disastrous. Integrity should be the first filter for any post, be it in the government, public sector or private, and unimpeachable integrity ought to be such filter for exalted positions of a judge of the Supreme Court and the chairman of NHRC.