Saturday, December 11, 2010

Something rotten in the entire judiciary!

A bench of the Supreme Court has refused to expunge its earlier remarks that something was rotten in the Allahabad High Court, on the other hand it has reiterated that some close relatives of some of the judges of the High Court were practising at the same court and in just a few years had made millions. Unfortunately, even some of the judges at the apex court have not been absolutely above board in some of their dealings. Only recently Tarun Chatterjee, who was implicated in the infamous Ghaziabad Provident Fund scandal, has retired as a judge from the Supreme Court. That a man like him was allowed to complete his tenure and retire honourably is a sad commentary on the working of the highest judiciary in our country. Shanti Bhushan, senior advocate and Morarji Desai's law minister, has said that out of the sixteen heads of the Supreme Court till Y.K. Sabbarwal, eight were certainly corrupt, six certainly honest and about two nothing can be said. He has given the category-wise names in a sealed cover to the Supreme Court and challenged it to try him for contempt of court. In a month that has since gone by, the court has not done so, nor it is likely to do that ever.

It is an undeniable fact that greed, which has become the presiding deity of Indians, has also taken some of the Supreme Court and High Court judges in its embrace. And nothing can be done to remedy the situation as long as firing such a judge is next to impossible; the rotten apples among them can only be impeached with at least half of the combined strength of the two houses of Parliament and two thirds of those present and voting casting their votes to impeach them. No wonder then that in more than sixty years of the life of the Republic it has never been possible to impeach a High Court or Supreme Court judge.

A properly worded judicial accountability act could be the only answer but can our frivolous and badly divided polity deliver that - I doubt it very much.

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