New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday pulled up mining baron and former Karnataka minister Gali Janardhan Reddy for bribing a sessions judge to obtain bail in the illegal mining case, saying he could not subvert the entire judicial process. Gali Janardhan Reddy had come out on bail last month after spending nearly four years in prison. A bench consisting of Justices T.S. Thakur and A.K. Goel refused Mr Reddy’s plea to stay trial in the mining case, which commenced at Hyderabad on Thursday.
During the trial of Gali Janardhan Reddy, Justice Thakur told senior counsel Vishwanath Shetty, who was appearing for Mr Reddy, “We will not stop the trial. Let the trial go on. If we stop the trial you will not allow the trial for 10 years.” The bench issued notice to the CBI and the Telangana government on Mr Reddy’s appeal against the High Court’s order refusing to club the two cases, illegal mining and bribing a judge into one.
When counsel said the bribing and the mining cases should be heard together, as the accused could not place a proper defence, Justice Thakur retorted: “What defence (do) you have when you are trying to hijack the judicial system. Bribing judges, is it a defence? You are influencing a judge, money is recovered from the sessions judge, who is also the accused in this case. You subvert the entire judicial process. What will happen to the judicial system if judges are bribed?”
When the bench asked how much money was recovered from the judge, counsel said, “Rs10 crore.”
Shocked, Justice Thakur told counsel, “You have so much money and you will not allow trial to reach a conclusion. Persons who play with judicial process have to be dealt with sternly. This one institution should be free, leave the judiciary alone. Here the judge himself is an accused. When it comes in abundance, you pay the judge? You don’t know what to do. You fight it on the political front and do not play with the judiciary.”