Home > Judiciary > No one acted on my complaint, I’m scared: Judge

No one acted on my complaint, I’m scared: Judge

NEW DELHI: Who in the judiciary tried to shield former minister A Raja? The plot thickened on Wednesday as former chief justice of India K Balakrishnan joined the spat with Supreme Court judge H L Gokhale, while the judge in the midst of the controversy, Justice R Reghupathy, said it appeared both had let him down.

Justice Reghupathy told TOI: ”I reported the incident (of Raja wanting to talk to him in a bail matter) to (then Madras HC) Chief Justice H L Gokhale by a letter dated July 2, 2009. Justice Gokhale had forwarded the letter to then CJI Balakrishnan. It was for them to take whatever action on my complaint. But both of them did not.”

He added: ”I still drive my small car. I do not have any security. And I want to live like an ordinary citizen. These are big people involved. I am scared. I could have initiated contempt proceedings against the lawyer (who brought Raja’s message to him). But that would have amounted to putting myself as the judge, the jury, the victim and the witness, all rolled into one. I did not want to create a situation that could have attracted adverse comments from the bar as well as jurists.”

Meanwhile, stung by Justice Gokhale’s charge that he didn’t disclose Raja’s name despite knowing he was the offending minister, Justice Balakrishnan said that while he had received Justice Reghupathy’s letter addressed to Justice Gokhale alleging the ”misconduct of a Union minister”, he couldn’t act on the basis of a letter that was not addressed to him.

This failed to convince everyone. Justice Balakrishnan released the August 11, 2009, letter of Justice Gokhale, but did not explain as to why he did not initiate action on the basis of Justice Reghupathy’s letter which clearly identified Raja as the minister in question. Also, it’s unclear why the then chief justice of the Madras high court,

Justice Gokhale, did not initiate contempt as a lawyer had tried to exert pressure on a sitting judge.

Meanwhile, the concerned lawyer, Tamil Nadu Bar Council chairman R K Chandramohan, got a reprieve on Wednesday from the SC, which stayed a Madras HC order suspending him as chairman of the bar council. The reprieve came on the technical ground that Chandramohan had been suspended without an inquiry. So, the SC said that an inquiry may be initiated, but pending its outcome, the Madras HC order was stayed.

All these twists and turns appeared to have left Justice Reghupathy confused. He said that on being pressured on Raja’s behalf he ”narrated the entire incident in a typed three-page letter to Justice Gokhale, who has put it in the correct perspective giving the sequence of events by issuing a press release on Tuesday.” But why didn’t Justice Balakrishnan act on his complaint? ”That you know very well,” Justice Reghupathy said enigmatically.

He said there was a code of conduct for judges and he could not have breached it by going to the media at the relevant time. ”That is why I chose to write to the Chief Justice of the HC,” he said. ”It was for both of them to initiate action,” he added.

Opposition BJP described as “shocking” the controversy over former Union minister A Raja allegedly trying to influence a Madras HC judge in a criminal case and wanted former Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishnan to explain his stand. “It is shocking. Only the ex-CJI can explain his stand. We will react after he issues some kind of a statement,” BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said. In an unusual step, sitting SC judge H L Gokhale contradicted Balakrishnan’s claim that the letter sent to him relating to the issue did not mention Raja’s name.

Read more: No one acted on my complaint, I’m scared: Judge – The Times of India http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/No-one-acted-on-my-complaint-Im-scared-Judge/articleshow/7108712.cms#ixzz18FVj7sBY

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