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Judiciary blotted by controversies in the past

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Controversies surrounding judges have blotted the higher judiciary on several occasions over serious allegations of graft and sexual harassment, with a sitting High even being jailed for contempt of

The judiciary was shaken when impeachment proceeding was initiated in 1993 against Supreme Justice V Ramaswami for alleged corruption.

However, the impeachment motion brought up in the Lok Sabha had failed to secure the required two-thirds majority.

In 2011, the had found Calcutta HC Justice guilty of financial misappropriation as a judge and of misrepresenting facts, which had led to the Upper House to vote in favour of his impeachment.

But before the could take up the impeachment proceedings, Justice Sen had tendered his resignation.

In 2016, Justice of the of and courted controversy when 61 Rajya Sabha members moved a for his impeachment on charges of misusing his position to "victimise" a "Dalit" Judge.

Later, nine of the 54 members of the Rajya Sabha, who had proposed the initiation of proceedings against him, withdrew their signatures.

In a recent shocking event, another Calcutta judge Justice C S Karnan became the first of a HC to be jailed for making defamatory remarks against the judiciary. Karnan underwent a six month jail term which ended in December last year.

Karnan had described the collegium system as "autocratic", had hurled a volley of invectives at the chief justices of the Madras and shot off letters with "scandalous" comments against judges to top authorities.

A storm, similar to the one triggered by Karnan, had also erupted in 2010 when a of the High Court, Justice D V Shylendra Kumar, had called then Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishnan names when the judges of the higher judiciary were resisting making their assets public.

Finally, when the judges declared their assets, a bombshell of sorts was dropped, as the apex court website showed that then sitting judge, Gyan Sudha Mishra, had declared her unmarried daughters as "liability".

In another shocking remark, High Court judge in 2012 had told a woman petitioner seeking divorce from her physically abusive husband, that all women suffer in marriages.

Interestingly, there are several other judges who were in the spotlight with their controversies.

The criticism of apex court judges by Justice Markandey Katju, who retired from the Supreme Court, did not go down well and he was directed to appear in person to explain his conduct of making such comments in his blog.

In 2015, a group of 58 MPs moved an impeachment notice against Justice J B Pardiwala of High Court for his "objectionable remarks on the issue of reservation" while giving a ruling in a case against Patidar leader

However, hours after the impeachment notice was sent to then Hamid Ansari, the judge removed his remarks from the judgement.

Another judge who came under scanner fopr charges of land -grab, corruption and abuse of judicial office was Justice P D Dinakaran, of the Sikkim HC, who resigned in 2011 before impeachment proceedings could be initiated against him.

The judiciary was also shamed when two retired judges of the were in the thick of a controversy relating to allegations levelled by interns.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, January 12 2018. 20:45 IST