77 % believe judiciary is corrupt: survey

Updated on May 25, 2007 11:24 AM IST

A Transparency International report says that 77 % of respondents in a survey in India believe the judiciary is corrupt Chetan Chauhan and Satya Prakash.

HT Image
HT Image
None | ByChetan Chauhan and Satya Prakash, New Delhi

A Transparency International report released on Thursday says that 77 per cent of respondents in a survey in India believe the judiciary is corrupt.

According to the Global Corruption Report 2007, the perception of corruption is higher in India and Pakistan than in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. In Pakistan, 55 per cent of the respondents said the judiciary was corrupt.

“The degree of delays and corruption has led to cynicism about the justice system. People seek short cuts through bri-bery and favours, leading to further unlawful behaviour. A prime example is the unauthorized buildings in Indian cities. Construction and safety laws are flouted in connivance with persons in authority,” the report says.

Terming the report as “alarming”, senior advocate KTS Tulsi said: “There is obviously some corruption in the judiciary and we need to put it down with a heavy hand. The ostrich like approach will not serve the purpose anymore.” Maintaining that corruption in the judiciary has grown in the last 30-40 years, he sought to know how many judges had been prosecuted and jailed. “Merely asking them to resign is not the solution. Corrupt judges must be given extreme punishment.”

“I am glad it is only 77 per cent of the people who believe so. Otherwise, it looks like the last bastion of people’s hope is crumbling,” Congress leader and senior advocate Salman Khursheed said, emphasising the need to take corrective steps.

However, former law minister Ram Jethmalani, who questioned the survey’s sample size, did not agree. “I don’t think things are so bad. Compared to other segments of society, they are better. However, said added: “Judges are not angels. They are part of the same society.”

The BJP’s spokesman Ravishankar Prasad, another former law minister, said: “This kind of sweeping comment is neither fair nor reasonable. Yes, there are areas of concern which many former Chief Justices have espoused from time to time.” He favoured an in-house mechanism to deal with the problem. However, he said the impeachment provision has outlived its utility and become counter-productive.

According to the report, as of February 2006, 33,635 cases were pending in the Supreme Court with 26 judges; 3.34 lakh cases in high courts with 670 judges; 2.5 crore cases in 13,204 sub-ordinate courts. “This backlog leads to long adjournments and prompts people to pay to speed up the process. In 1999, it was estimated that at the current rate of disposal of cases, it would take another 350 years to dispose of pending cases,” the report states.

It also points out that the ratio of judges is abysmally low at 12-13 per one million people compared to 107 in the United States, 75 in Canada and 51 in the United Kingdom. “If the number of outstanding cases are assigned to the current number of judges, caseloads would be 1,294 per Supreme Court judge, 4,987 per high court judge and 1,916 per lower court judge.”

The report recommends judicial reforms including an independent judicial appointments body, higher salaries for judges, limited impunity to actions relating to judicial duties and transparency in the functioning of judicial organisations. Khursheed agreed that judges needed better working conditions and salaries.

Close Story

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • The decision to protest at Haryana ministers’ residences on August 25, 26 was taken at a state-level mahapanchayat held at Pehowa of Kurukshetra district on Thursday. “We have decided to hold two-day panchayats outside the residences of all Haryana ministers,” said BKU president Gurnam Singh Charuni. (HT Photo)

    BKU-Charuni to protest at Haryana ministers’ residences on August 25, 26

    Farmers associated with the Bharatiya Kisan Union (Charuni) have decided to hold protests at the residences of all ministers of the state on August 25 and 26 for ignoring their demand for an amendment in the land Act keeping in view the April judgment of the Supreme Court over shamlat deh (common) land.

  • Niddhi Kukreja, mother of Jhanvi Kukreja HT Archives

    Jhanvi Kukreja murder: Court allows mother to assist prosecution

    The sessions court has allowed mother of Jhanvi Kukreja, Niddhi Kukreja, to assist the prosecution in her daughter's murder trial. Janhvi, 19, was found dead on the staircase of a building at Khar on December 31, 2020. She was accompanied by her boyfriend Shree Jogdhankar and friend Diya Padalkar to a new year's eve party. Her head was banged on the walls and staircase railings of Bhagvati Heights at Khar.

  • Noida, India- August 18, 2022: A view of Supertech Twin tower at Sector 93A, in Noida, India, on Thursday, August 18, 2022. (Photo by Sunil Ghosh / Hindustan Times) (Hindustan Times)

    Noida twin towers: Evacuation plan for demolition day finalised

    Noida: The Noida authority along with other stakeholders on Thursday finalised the evacuation plan and exclusion zone for the demolition of the Supertech twin towers scheduled at 2:30pm on August 28. Officials said that the entire Emerald Court and ATS Village housing societies with around 7,000 residents will have to be evacuated along with their vehicles by 7am on the demolition day.

  • Ghaziabad, India - August 18, 2022: A view of the mangled remains of a car after an accident on Delhi-Meerut Expressway near Kushaliya village, in Ghaziabad, India, on Thursday, August 18, 2022. (Photo by Sakib Ali /Hindustan Times)

    Four killed as van collides with stationary vehicle on Delhi-Meerut Expressway

    Four members of a family were killed when the van they were travelling in collided with a stationary truck on the Delhi-Meerut Expressway in Ghaziabad on Thursday afternoon. Police said that by the time they reached the site, the truck driver had fled away with the vehicle. Police identified the four victims as Sumit Kumar (34), his son Yagit, Tej Pal (48), and his wife Babli (40).

  • Spire by Anish Kapoor (HT Photos)

    Urban Spaces: Discover top artists in a patch of green

    Artist Manish Nai then spent over a year putting the installation together. The end result is for all to see: walk into the Godrej campus at Vikhroli, and the donut-shaped installation titled Zero lies on a patch of green between the two office buildings (Godrej One and Godrej Two), surrounded by other remarkable outdoor installations including one by Subodh Gupta (Worship for All) and another by Neha Choksi (Child's Grove).

Story Saved
Saved Articles
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Friday, August 19, 2022
Start 15 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now