New Delhi: The Chief Justice of India T.S. Thakur has cracked a whip on errant and deviant judges by ordering mass transfer of high court judges across the country. Earlier such mass transfers were effected during the tenure of former CJI S.H. Kapadia.
The Supreme Court collegiums, headed by the CJI at its meeting held on February 11, has taken this drastic step with a view to stop alleged corruption in the judiciary, which practice has been prevailing during last several years by the kith and kin of most of the present judges in different high courts in India. Though there is some resentment, sources said this step is for the betterment of judiciary.
Though the number of judges being transferred is not known, sources confirmed that a large number of judges is being shifted either on complaints of alleged corruption and deviant behaviour, inefficiency, for administrative exigency and since either daughter or son practicing in the same high court. Sources said this is the first round and there will be another round of transfers shortly. This list includes Justices R. Sudhakar and C.S. Karnan of the Madras high court.
While justice Sudhakar is being sent to Jammu and Kashmir on administrative reasons, Justice Karnan is being shifted to Calcutta High Court based on complaints from chief justices. A couple of judges are being transferred from the High Courts of Madras, Karnataka, Delhi, AP and Allahabad and few other High Courts. Sources said after the receipt of the list from the Supreme Court, the Law Ministry will process the transfers which are expected to materialize in a fortnight.
At present, there is no legal mechanism for dealing with complaints against judges, who are governed by `Restatement of Values of Judicial Life,’ adopted by the judiciary as a code of conduct without any statutory sanction. The Judges (Inquiry) Act contemplates only impeachment and there is no other form of punishment for errand judges.
The Judicial Standards and Accountability Bill providing for a mechanism to deal with complaints against judges of the High Courts and the Supreme Court could not be passed by Parliament. As a result any complaint against judges has to be dealt with only by the Supreme Court collegium....