Is this a High Court or a joke ? Justice Katju's Charges against Allahabad High Court
Former Judge of Supreme Court of India Justice Markandeya Katju in his Face book post last week, lambasted the Allahabad High Court over the delay of disposing Cases and other things. He also said that he was informed that the much awaited Supreme Court judgment on the Constitutional validity of the National Judicial Appointment Commission Act will be delivered next week by the Constitutional bench. Regarding the NJAC verdict he said ‘So far as my own opinion is concerned, it matters tweedledum or tweedledee what the judgment will be, as I believe that the Indian judiciary is beyond redemption’
Here is the full text of his Face book Post
I am informed that the much awaited Supreme Court judgment on the Constitutional validity of the National Judicial Accountablity Commission Act will be delivered next week by the Constitutional bench.
So far as my own opinion is concerned, it matters tweedledum or tweedledee what the judgment will be, as I believe that the Indian judiciary is beyond redemption. I may only mention some facts about my parent High Court at Allahabad.
1.Criminal appeals filed in the High Court in 1985 are now coming up for hearing, that is, after 30 years. Similar is the position of civil appeals. Is this a High Court or a joke ?
2.The list of most benches is hardly touched, and only fresh matters taken up. This means that if on the first hearing of a case it is adjourned for some reason ( e.g. a counter affidavit is called for by the Court ) the case will thereafter never come up for hearing unless a heavy bribe, often of thousands of rupees, is paid in the registry to the concerned official. And even then, the case is very unlikely to be heard as in most benches the list of the court is rarely touched.
3.There is a senior judge who presides over a bench hearing writ petitions. He reportedly disposes off 150 cases or more a day, but without opening the file, and by simply saying, with half closed eyes " Suit, suit " ( i.e. go and file a suit, which in crude language means go to hell, because sending someone to a suit is like sending him to hell, as it will now make him run from pillar to post for 20-30 years or more before the suit and its appeals are finally disposed off )
4.There is a Judge who comes to Court at 11.30 or 12 ( the Allahabad High Court sits at 10 a.m. ), dismisses all listing applications ( i.e. applications praying that some pending case be listed ), and rises whenever he likes.
5.If the hearing of a bail application is adjourned for some reason ( e.g. the govt. counsel wants to file a reply ) one never knows when the bail application will be listed again.
This is not the first time Justice Katju had criticised Allahabad High Court and its Judges. In 2010 he (with Justice G.S.Mishra) made strong remarks against the High Court through his Judgment in Raja Khan vs U.P.Sunni Central Wakf Board & Anr he said
"Something is rotten in the State of Denmark", said Shakespeare in Hamlet, and it can similarly be said that something is rotten in the Allahabad High Court, as this case illustrates”
“We are sorry to say but a lot of complaints are coming against certain Judges of the Allahabad High Court relating to their integrity. Some Judges have their kith and kin practising in the same Court, and within a few years of starting practice the sons or relations of the Judge become multi-millionaires, have huge bank balances, luxurious cars, huge houses and are enjoying a luxurious life. This is a far cry from the days when the sons and other relatives of Judges could derive no benefit from their relationship and had to struggle at the bar like any other lawyer.
We do not mean to say that all lawyers who have close relations as Judges of the High Court are misusing that relationship. Some are scrupulously taking care that no one should lift a finger on this account. However, others are shamelessly taking advantage of this relationship. There are other serious complaints also against some Judges of the High Court.
The Allahabad High Court really needs some house cleaning (both Allahabad and Lucknow Bench), and we request Hon'ble the Chief Justice of the High Court to do the needful, even if he has to take some strong measures, including recommending transfers of the incorrigibles”.
Justice Katju was appointed as a Judge in Allahabad High Court in 1991. He was appointed as acting Chief Justice of Allahabad High Court in August 2004