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Top jurists seek probe against Justice Bhalla

delhi Updated: Nov 17, 2007 02:11 IST
Nagendar Sharma
Nagendar Sharma
Hindustan Times
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A group of well-known jurists, including Fali Nariman and Ram Jethamalani on Friday appealed to all the MPs to sign a motion for initiation of inquiry proceedings against a high court judge, whose name has been recommended for promotion as a chief justice.

The group, known as Committee for Judicial Accountability, has levelled allegations of misconduct against Justice Jagdish Bhalla, the acting chief justice of Chhattisgarh High Court, and said the probe was only possible by moving a motion of impeachment against him in the parliament.

Justice Bhalla has denied the allegations and termed the committee's campaign as malicious.

"Supreme Court has already looked into the matter. A committee of three seniormost judges in the country found the allegations baseless. Not one but two separate collegiums have recommended my name; they have done so after satisfying themselves. My name was cleared by the highest Revenue Authority.

I am duty bound not to speak, but I am doing so because I am hurt by this malicious campaign", Justice Bhalla told HT.

The latest move by the Committee for Judicial Accountability follows a recent decision of the Supreme Court collegium to recommend for the second time within a year, the name of Justice Bhalla for elevation as a high court chief justice, after an earlier attempt had failed to win the approval of the then President APJ Abdul Kalam in December last year.

The Committee said it has been decided to approach the MPs as the Supreme Court did not even respond to their complaints during past 15 months.