Supreme Court wants corrupt judges thrown out
In a strong message against corruption in the subordinate judiciary, the Supreme Court on Tuesday observed incorrigible judges who were bringing the entire judiciary to disrepute should be thrown out.
"A large section of subordinate judges is bringing disrepute to the entire judiciary. We have to hear of judges taking money and can do nothing but hang our heads in shame," a bench comprising Justices Markandey Katju and Gyan Sudha Misra said.
"Incorrigible judges should be thrown out," the bench said, while dealing with a contempt petition against an additional district judge (ADJ).
ADJ Archana Sinha, who repeatedly pleaded for mercy, had stayed the operation of a Supreme Court order on the eviction of a tenant from a prime property in Connaught Place.
"The ( ADJ's) order is quashed as mala fide and void," the bench said, while directing the Delhi High Court to seek an explanation from her.
The bench directed the chief justice of the HC to conduct an inquiry into the matter and take such action as he deemed fit.
With Sinha's counsel Jayant Bhushan claiming her action was not mala fide, Justice Katju, who initially planned to suspend her with immediate effect, asked: "She sat over the head of the Supreme Court. You want us not to suspend her?" "She had no business to hear the matter. Instead she superseded and overruled us," he said.
Bhushan, thereafter, tried to take the court through some documents to show her action was not totally unjustified, but the court was not inclined to consider such pleas.
"Once she came to know of the Supreme Court order, all this was irrelevant and she should not have touched the matter," Justice Katju said.
"We have to hear of judges taking money. A message has to go. We will not tolerate this," the bench said.
At one point, the bench mellowed down when Sinha pleaded for mercy with folded hands. "Hamare pas bhi dil hai (we also hearts too)," Justice Katju said.
With the bench deciding to let her off with a written apology, the counsel for the landlord, Dushyant Dave, opposed any leniency for the judge. "Let her give an explanation to the high court chief justice. I believe there is a history behind this. The judiciary gets a bad image because of judges like these," Dave said.
Opposing leniency, he said: "If it was contempt by someone from the executive, he would have been sent to jail for this." The bench, thereafter, took a tough stand and referred the matter to the HC chief justice after holding in clear terms that her action was tainted with mala fide intentions.