Monday, September 15, 2008
Who will judge the judges?
That’s the question increasingly being asked against the background of proliferating allegations of corruption relating to the Indian judiciary. While the apex court, by and large, is still held in high esteem and often seen as a proactive paladin of common citizens, protecting them from the many sins of omission and commission on the part of venal and inefficient politicians and bureaucrats, the lower judiciary’s image has been tarnished by mounting charges of malfeasance. Hard on the heels of the Centre’s move to impeach Calcutta high court judge Soumitra Sen who has been accused of misappropriating Rs 24 lakh, come reports of as many as 34 judges (including one in the Supreme Court) implicated by the UP police in cases involving illegal withdrawals from pension funds. There has also been the instance of money having been delivered to the ‘wrong’ judge of the Punjab and Haryana high court. Despite the great public outcry made at the time, the case of Justice Y K Sabharwal whose directives on Delhi’s sealing drive putatively helped his sons’ construction business has been given a discreet burial, RIP.