New Delhi: As allegations of corruption in judiciary made by former Supreme Court Justice Markandey Katju continued to raise the heat among political parties, former prime Minister Manmohan Singh broke his silence on Tuesday, saying that he had nothing more to add as his colleague HR Bhardwaj had already spoken on the same.
“The then law minister HR Bhardwaj has explained everything. I have nothing more to add.” Dr Manmohan Singh was quoted as telling a news channel.
Singh’s reaction came after the ruling BJP asked Congress party to clear the stand on the issue.
Katju, currently Chairman of Press Council of India stirred a controversy recently by alleging that three ex-Chief Justices of India had compromised in giving extension to an additional judge of Madras High court at the instance of UPA government in the wake of pressure from one of its allies, apparently DMK.
Katju made the charge while alleging how the three former CJIs–Justices R C Lahoti, Y K Sabharwal and K G Balakrishnan–had made “imroper compromises” in allowing the judge, against whom there were several allegations of corruption, to continue in office.
“These three former CJIs made improper compromises. Justice Lahoti who started it, then Justice Sabharwal and then Justice Balakrishnan. These are CJIs who can surrender. Is a CJI going to surrender to political pressure or not going to surrender to political pressure?” Katju, who became the Chief Justice of Madras High Court in November 2004, told a news channel.
Katju said since he got many reports that the additional judge concerned was allegedly indulging in corruption he had requested the then CJI Lahoti to get a secret IB inquiry made about him.
He claimed that the IB report found the allegations to be true and he should have been sacked.
Katju said since the two-year term as additional judge of that person was coming to an end he presumed he would be discontinued as judge.
“But to my utter shock I came to know he was been given another extension when an adverse IB report was there,” he said.
Katju said he came to know that the reason for all this was that at that time the UPA-I government was dependent on allies and one of them was a Tamil Nadu party, an apparent reference to DMK, whose leader was given bail by the additional judge concerned.