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High court ‘rotten’, SC repeats

The Supreme Court on Friday stood by the controversial observations it had made about the Allahabad high court, rejecting an application from the high court to expunge the comments from the record. HT reports.

delhi Updated: Dec 11, 2010 02:11 IST

The Supreme Court on Friday stood by the controversial observations it had made about the Allahabad high court, rejecting an application from the high court to expunge the comments from the record.

On November 26, a bench comprising justices Markandeya Katju and Gyan Sudha Mishra had said there was “something rotten” about the way India’s largest high court functioned.

“The Allahabad high court really needs some cleaning. We are sorry to say a lot of complaints are coming against certain judges of the Allahabad HC relating to their integrity,” the bench had said. It had also criticized the ‘uncle judge’ syndrome it claimed prevailed there – relatives of judges appearing before them as lawyers.

Refusing to relent, the same bench suggested that judges introspect. “We request them to consider our order in that spirit,” it said. The court, however, elaborated that its comments did not apply to all judges of the court.

“There are many excellent judges of the Allahabad high court,” the same bench observed. “These upright judges are keeping the high court’s flag flying high by their integrity and hard work. It is totally false to say that all judges of the Allahabad High Court are corrupt.”

When advocate P.P. Rao, appearing for the Allahabad high court, said the apex court’s comments might still give the impression that all judges were corrupt, Justice Katju, more vocal of the two on the bench, retorted: “Tomorrow, if Markandey Katju starts taking bribes, the country will know of it. So do not tell me as to who is honest and who is corrupt.”

“My family has been associated with the HC for more than 100 years. Whatever I am today is because of Allahabad HC. Do you think I would malign the institution?” Justice Katju added.

In an application moved through its registry, the HC had sought expunction of the remarks on the ground that it had become tough for the judges to function. The remarks, HC claimed, had tarnished the UP judiciary’s reputation.