Senior members of the Advocates Association of Karnataka have appealed to the Chief Justice of India R.M. Lodha to take an appropriate decision and clear the doubt with regard to the transfer/elevation of Justice K.L. Manjunath of the Karnataka High Court to Punjab High Court.
In a representation made to the CJI, they said such a decision “will serve the long term interest of the Judiciary as well as protect the upright members of the Judiciary.”
They said they were constrained to bring certain facts to the CJI’s notice in the background of recent developments in the media making several allegations against Justice Manjunath.
They said “The tenor of these reports indicate that there is clear perception in the mind of the public that Justice K.L Manjunath is not only a man of doubtful integrity but also a communal Judge. These allegations have been made without any basis and appear to have been instigated by certain disgruntled elements in the judiciary itself. If these kinds of allegations could be entertained and acted upon, it would seriously dent the image of the Judiciary itself as well as result in shaking public confidence in the institution.”
They said “the nature of allegations levelled against the Judge in question is that he owns several immovable properties; that he is connected with land Mafia; and that he shows favour to members of a particular community” which were absolutely false and baseless.
The lawyers regretted that despite the contribution made by Justice K.L.Manjunath to the legal profession as well as to the Judiciary, serious allegations of judicial impropriety were made against him without any rhyme or reason. We earnestly hope that you will bestow your attention on the aforesaid aspects and take an appropriate decision which will serve the long term interest of the Judiciary as well as protect the upright members of the Judiciary.”