In a rare instance of disciplinary action against judges, the Rajasthan High Court has recommended the removal of 18 of them at the district level, after they were found corrupt and incompetent by a probe panel.
The decision was taken at a full court meeting of the high court held at Jodhpur on Saturday, attended by a majority of all the 27 judges, Hindustan Times has learnt.
The action followed a “lengthy discussion” on the report of the probe panel headed by Justice K.S. Rathore of the high court.
“The meeting — chaired by chief justice Jagdish Bhalla — passed a resolution accepting the recommendation of a five member probe panel to give compulsory retirement to the district judges against
whom allegations have been proved,” said a judge present at the meeting.
“All the judges present at the meeting agreed that there should zero tolerance against corruption in the judiciary, but there were differences on the degree of action against erring judges,” said another judge.
Apart from 18 district judges, the services of three judicial magistrates are also likely to be terminated.
The High Court has decided to recommend the compulsory retirement of all the 21 judges under Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS).
The final decision in the matter rests with the governor, who will decide after consulting the state government.
The judges facing the axe are preparing to challenge the high court decision.
“I was not given a chance to present my defence on frivolous allegations levelled against me,” said an additional district judge, whose name figures in the list of 18.