Judicial fraternity should speak up against corruption: JS Verma

Former Chief Justice J S Verma said that judicial accountability had also severely declined and hit an all time low during the last decade and called for a serious overhaul.

FP Staff October 29, 2012 10:57:24 IST

Calling for a judicial probe into Digvijay Singh's claim that several BJP leaders' kin are corrupt, Former Chief Justice J S Verma said that judicial accountability had also severely declined and hit an all time low during the last decade.

"I cannot say that there has not been a single corrupt judge even in the Supreme Court. You have that in public knowledge, he told CNN-IBN. Referring to V Ramaswamy's failed impeachment due to political clout, he agreed that the rot ran deep in the judicial system.

Judicial fraternity should speak up against corruption JS Verma

J S Verma guns for an enquiry into BJP leaders's kin. IBNLive Screengrab.

He said, "I had also written a letter to the then Prime Minister I K Gujral asking him to look into the appoinement of my successor (Madan Mohan Punchhi). But there was no action - even the President did nothing about it." The fomer CJI also claimed that he was forced to release a letter about his appointment when I K Gujral said something incorrect in public. Punchhi went through as a CJI only because I K Gujral did not order an inquiry, he added.

Has the situation become worse in the last decade given the socio-political climate where corruption is rampant?

He said, " When I joined the bar 4o years back, no one talked about corruption even in the district judges. Now when people talk about corruption even in the apex court, I feel like it is a slap on my face."

Given the rot that is evident in the judiciary, is it time to take to the streets to fight corruption in the country?

He said, "The actions of our political class are giving credence to anger on the street. Anyone who speaks against corrupton gets fillip." Promoting anger on the street will not help the case he said, possibly referring to Arvind Kejriwal's action thought he chose not to take names.

Arvind Kejriwal and his gang of anti corruption crusaders have also talked about moral liability in case of corruption and how morality is getting eroded everyday in the process of judicial enquiry.

He seemed to agree. He said, "It is our moral duty not to wait for court of law. That is why I suggested Justice Balakrishnan to step down as CJI (when corruption charges were levelled against him). " Adding that people in the judicial fraternity should speak out against corruption in their own field, he said, "I think judges have the highest responsibility."

 

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