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Balakrishnan for action in judges' scuffle

The CJI-designate says the brawl between two Gujarat HC judges was unfortunate and appropriate action will be taken, reports Satya Prakash.

india Updated: Jan 13, 2007 22:04 IST
Satya Prakash
Satya Prakash

Terming as "unfortunate" the reported brawl between two judges of the Gujarat High Court, Chief Justice of India-designate KG Balakrishnan on Saturday said that appropriate action would be taken in the matter.

"It is an unfortunate incident if the allegations are correct...we have sought a reply from the Gujarat High Court chief justice and we will take appropriate action," Justice Balakrishnan, who will take over as the new CJI on Sunday, told reporters.

Asked if the Supreme Court Collegium has recommended transfer of Justice BJ Shethna, one of the judges involved in the incident, to the Sikkim High Court, the CJI-designate simply said, "it is to be done by the is a long-drawn process."

Shethna had allegedly given blows to Justice PB Majumdar at the former's residence where they met to sort out their differences over some issue.

Earlier in the day, speaking to the media, Chief Justice YK Sabharwal too said that a report had been received from the Gujarat High Court Chief Justice about the incident and it was being looked into.

Justice Sabharwal blamed the media for "tarnishing" the image of the judiciary by publishing reports based on unverified facts.

The outgoing CJI denied that there was any mistrust between him and President APJ Abdul Kalam on the elevation of Justice Jain as the Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court. "It was another case where a clear damage was done by the media," he added.

"Though it is history now, it is a matter of sadness for me, but let us now bury the matter," he said.

While commending the media for exposing corruption in public life, he said the media should do its homework before going public with a case.

Responding to a question about the integrity of Punjab and Haryana High Court Chief Justice Vijender Jain, he said considerable amount of damage has already been done to the image of judiciary by the media.

Maintaining that "we must be tough in dealing with corruption," in all institutions including the judiciary, he said it "deserved to be remembered by all including the media that conventionally judges do not have any forum, and I am happy that they do not have any forum, to go to the press and go on issuing clarifications."

He said since there was much responsibility on the shoulders of media, it should be careful in verifying the facts before projecting them before public.

On the alleged land deals of an Allahabad High Court Judge's wife, he said it was examined by the apex court threadbare and no substance was found in it.

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First Published: Jan 13, 2007 22:04 IST