Our Republic will drown if corruption gains control of State power and lucre purchases that most important wing of the State: the judiciary. In these days of graft seeping into every corner of the nation, the risk of the poor perishing and the rich grabbing the nation’s resources is serious.
To regain ‘self-rule’, it is not enough to mouth platitudes; a new do-or-die movement must be launched where all rogues, rascals and freeloaders are eliminated.
But in such a time of crisis, the former Chief Justice of India (CJI), KG Balakrishnan, has been accused of horrendous corruption. The charges of him using his high office to accumulate black money in the name of his brother, sons-in-law and other members of his family are a disgrace to the institution of the judiciary.
Even more disgraceful is his refusal to step down as chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).
But for all purposes, he must resign from the NHRC. Especially since suspicion is the upas tree under whose shade reason fails and justice dies.
I believe Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to be an astute statesman. If the CJI declines to resign from the statutory position, it is the prime minister’s job to show him the door without delay. Otherwise, even a person of Singh’s stature and his power will be tainted by default.
Inaction is guilt where action as a trustee is a command to act. Singh should act now. Otherwise, irreversible damage not only to the credibility of the present government, but also to the reputation of this nation will be done.
(VR Krishna Iyer is a former Supreme Court judge)
(The views expressed by the authors are personal)