Take action against incorrigibles in Allahabad High Court: Supreme Court
NEW DELHI, November 27, 2010
The Supreme Court on Friday asked the Chief Justice of the Allahabad High Court to act against a judge who had passed orders on extraneous considerations, and against some other judges facing complaints.
A Bench of Justices Markandey Katju and Gyan Sudha Misra said: "We do not mean to say that all lawyers who have close relations as judges of the High Court are misusing that relationship. Some are scrupulously taking care that no one should lift a finger on this account. However, others are shamelessly taking advantage of this relationship. There are other serious complaints also against some judges of the High Court. The High Court really needs some house-cleaning (both the Allahabad and Lucknow Benches), and we request the Honourable Chief Justice of the High Court to do the needful, even if he has to take some strong measures, including recommending transfers of the incorrigibles."
In the instant case, on a writ petition by Raja Khan, a single judge directed the respondents (the Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Waqf Board; the District Magistrate, Bahraich; and the Committee of Management, Waqf No. 19, Dargah Sharif, Bahraich) to allot Waqf land for running a circus, 'jhoola' and merry-go-round, and possession of the allocated land was ordered to be handed over within three days. A Division Bench set aside the order.
Dismissing the appeal against the Division Bench order, the Supreme Court said: "We are of the opinion that the two ex parte interim orders of the single judge were clearly passed on extraneous considerations. The property in question is in Bahraich district, within the territorial jurisdiction of the Lucknow Bench. Hence, the writ petition could not have been validly filed or entertained in the Allahabad Bench. The writ petition was not maintainable because ordinarily no writ petition lies against a private body."
The Supreme Court directed that a copy of this order be sent to the Registrars-General/Registrars of all High Courts for being placed before the Chief Justices of the High Courts.
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Allahabad High Court files expunction application
NEW DELHI, December 9, 2010
Full Court takes serious exception to Supreme Court's remark
In a rare instance of a High Court approaching the Supreme Court for redress of grievances, the Allahabad High Court, offended by its remark that "something is rotten in the Allahabad High Court," has filed an application for expunction. The application, filed on Tuesday, said general remarks like the one made in the November 26 judgment should not have been made as it was not the proper occasion for the Supreme Court to do so. There were other mechanisms available for making such remarks and addressing the issues raised in the judgment.
The application was filed on the decision of the Full Court, which took serious exception to the observations.
In its judgment, the Supreme Court Bench of Justices Markandey Katju and Gyan Sudha Misra had said: "Something is rotten in the State of Denmark said Shakespeare in Hamlet, and it can similarly be said that something is rotten in the Allahabad High Court."
The Bench added: "We are sorry to say but a lot of complaints are coming against certain judges of the High Court relating to their integrity. Some judges have their kith and kin practising in the same court, and within a few years of [their] starting practice, the sons or relations become multimillionaires, have huge bank balances, luxurious cars, huge houses and are enjoying a luxurious life. This is a far cry from the days when the sons and other relatives of judges could derive no benefit from their relationship and had to struggle at the Bar like any other lawyer."
The Bench said: "There are also other serious complaints against some judges. The High Court really needs some house cleaning [both the Allahabad and Lucknow Benches], and we request the Chief Justice of the High Court to do the needful, even if he has to take some strong measures, including recommending transfer of the incorrigibles."
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Supreme Court upholds "rotten" remark against Allahabad High Court
NEW DELHI, December 10, 2010
PTI Security personnel stand guard outside the Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court. File photo
The Supreme Court today upheld its controversial remarks that something was "rotten" in the Allahabad High Court where the "uncle judges syndrome" was rampant and needed cleansing.
A bench of justices Markandey Katju and Gyan Sudha Mishra, while dismissing the Allahabad High Court's application for expunging of the remarks, however, clarified that there were "excellent and good judges too" in the court.
Rejecting the arguments of senior counsel P. P. Rao that even a clarification that some are excellent and good judges would still cause suspicion on the integrity of the judges, the bench remarked, "It is not just time to react but also to introspect".
Reacting to the persistent plea of Mr. Rao that the clarification would not be sufficient, Justice Katju angrily retorted, "Do not tell all this. My family and I have more than 100 years of association with the Allahabad High Court. People know who is corrupt and who is honest."
Justice Katju further observed, "Tomorrow, if Markandey Katju starts taking bribe, then the entire country will know about it. So do not tell me as to who is honest and who is corrupt."
Mr. Rao submitted that the earlier observations had tarnished the image of the entire High Court judiciary and the rustic would not be able to distinguish between an honest and a corrupt judge.
"Do not tell me all those things about the rustic. They are much more enlightened. Do not think people of India are fools," the bench observed while dismissing the application.
The Allahabad High Court had taken strong exception to the apex court's remarks that "something was rotten" and there was "rampant uncle judge syndrome" in the higher court.
In an application moved through its registry, the High Court had sought expunction of the remarks on the ground that they "have made difficult" for the judges to function and tarnished the reputation of the entire judiciary in Uttar Pradesh.
"The remarks are unfortunate and uncalled for and has brought down the image of the Allahabad High Court judges in the eyes of the general public. The observations have made it difficult for the judges to function," the application had stated.
It had submitted that judges of the High Court are appointed only after clearance from the Supreme Court collegium and as such, there was no scope to question their integrity.
On November 26, in a strong indictment of Allahabad High Court, the apex court had said, "There is something rotten" there and raised serious questions about integrity of several of its judges.
"Something is rotten in the State of Denmark, said Shakespeare in Hamlet, and it can similarly be said that something is rotten in the Allahabad High Court," a bench of justices Markandey Katju and Gyan Sudha Mishra had said, adding the high court "really needs some house cleaning".
The apex court bench had also asked the chief justice of the high court to take some strong measures, including recommending "transfers of the incorrigibles".
It had made the remarks in a 12-page order while making the insinuation that several judges of the high court suffer from 'uncle judge' syndrome, which refers to judges passing favourable orders for parties represented by lawyers known to them.
The bench's remarks came while scrapping a single-judge bench order of the Allahabad High Court which had asked a Bahraich-based Waqf Board to temporarily allot a portion of its land in May-June this year to the proprietors of a circus for its show during an annual fair.
Referring to the rampant 'uncle judge' syndrome allegedly plaguing the high court, the apex court bench had said, "Some judges have their kith and kin practising in the same court.
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