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Most judges are honest, says CJI

CHIEF JUSTICE of India K.G. Balakrishnan has said in a television interview that "only a handful of judges" face allegations, and "I don't think there is large-scale corruption among the sitting judges of the superior courts."

india Updated: Feb 05, 2007 15:31 IST

CHIEF JUSTICE of India K.G. Balakrishnan has said in a television interview that "only a handful of judges" face allegations, and "I don't think there is large-scale corruption among the sitting judges of the superior courts."

In an interview for Karan Thapar's Devil's Advocate programme on CNN-IBN, Balakrishnan was asked how he responded to statements by former chief justice S.P. Bharucha that perhaps 20 per cent of judges were corrupt and surveys by Transparency International that showed 63 per cent of India perceived the judiciary as corrupt.

"I don't agree that there is so much percentage of corruption amongst the sitting judges… only against a handful of judges, there are allegations," he said.

Asked whether the public perception that judges are corrupt was an exaggeration, Balakrishnan said, "If they talk about the whole system there may be some sort of corruption in the system. (For instance) whilst filing cases, something may have happened."

The first part of the interview was aired on Sunday. "People say whilst going to the court one has to pay something," said Balakrishnan. "But judges as such I don't think there is large-scale corruption amongst the sitting judges of the superior courts. I would welcome a better mechanism for finding out the corrupt judges or to remove the corruption. What novel things (are devised) I would certainly welcome."

Asked about the government's proposed National Judicial Council, which is intended to provide an alternate mechanism for enforcing judicial accountability, he welcomed the development. "There are some allegations and it's better there should be some mechanism to find out whether anything could be done in this regard."