The past year has seen a slew of corrupt deals surfacing. Several important ministers, politicians, bureaucrats and corporates have been sent to jail on countless charges of malfeasance and misfeasance. The Anna Movement that followed as a sequel to the weak Government Lokpal Bill showed people’s ire against corruption. Today, the man in the street talks of rule of thieves or “kleptocracy” – the neologism added to the English lexicon.
The recent exposé of the judges’ wrongdoings in Karnataka and Orissa High/ Supreme Courts is the saddest commentary on body corruption. How can the dispenser of justice be a party to this open defiance of rules and law including the ones formulated on the judgments pronounced by the highest court of the country? What will become of the country when the fence, purportedly meant to protect, starts eating the crop?
Never perhaps in one’s fallible memory of contemporary India has the higher judiciary been exposed for violation of rules and procedures the way they have today. Let’s get real. The courts are deemed to be the last bastion of safety in a democracy to ensure that the rule of law is followed not only by the executive but also by the legislature. The courts are honorable places where the common man can go seeking remedy for perceived wrong or willful or questionable executive fiats or legislation. The judges are deemed honorable people looked upon with respect by the society. They also have the power of contempt to protect themselves from any motivated and tendentious criticism.
The names, photographs and details of land questionably allotted in Bangalore to former and sitting judges of High Courts and Supreme Court in the Karnataka Judicial Employees House Building Society in alleged violation of its own bye-laws is pathetic. The membership of such Society, as per its own bye-laws, is confined to judicial employees. Judges of the High Court and Supreme Court are not judicial employees. As per the Supreme Court judgment delivered by a five-judge constitutional bench in