Shanti Bhushan, for law minister of India, has said eight of the 16 former Chief Justices of India were corrupt, six were honest and about two he is not sure. It means 50% of CJIs were corrupt. It means 50% of Supreme Court judges and High Court judges are corrupt. When S. P. Bharucha was CJI he had said 20% of the judiciary is corrupt. By Shanti Bhushanâ€™s reckoning 50% of the judiciary is corrupt. It means 50% of judgments were wrong.
Shanti Bhushan must make public the names of CJIs who were corrupt. He must also reveal whatever he knows about their misdeeds. That will be a great service to the nation and help in cleaning the augean stables of corruption.
Some years ago chairman of Punjab Public Service Commission was under investigation for corruption. He, as per reports, took 75 lakh rupees each for appointment as DSP or judge. If someone pays 75 lakh rupees to become a judge what fairness can be expected of that judge?
Judges have used contempt of court provision to silence people from mentioning corruption in judiciary by holding that truth is not a defence in case of contempt of court. There was one magistrate who issued four arrest warrants for Rs.10,000/- each. The four to be arrested included the then President A. P. J. Abdul Kalam and the then CJI Vishwanath N. Khare.
Removal of High Court and Supreme Court judges is a long process. It needs to be simplified. Removal of High Court judges should be by Legislative Assembly of the state. Removal of Supreme Court judges should be soon after sufficient number of MPs sign the petition.
It is not enough to remove corrupt judges. Suitable punishment should follow depending on the magnitude of corruption. Indian Penal Code needs to be amended for punishment according to magnitude of crime and consecutive sentences instead of concurrent sentences.
Judges are out of control in USA. They overturn the law and decision arrived through referendum. They change the definition of marriage. They overrule a law that allows a patient to live. One judge in California overruled Proposition 8. There is no retirement age for judges and they hold office as long as they want. There is no process to remove judges.
Americans must put retirement age for judges and have a process for removal of judges for misdemeanours and usurpation of the powers of executive and legislature. Judges exercise veto power when they nullify any law. In grave cases guilty judges should be hanged. Overruling Proposition 8 is a grave case.
Lindsay Lohan was sentenced to 90 days imprisonment. Within days she is out of jail and sent to rehab centre. What a joke!
The story of Susanna in Old Testament shows how judges can abuse their positions. Jesus spoke of a corrupt judge who was not afraid of God or man. There is need to limit the power of judges.
Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.
Judges are not impartial as was shown in the case of presidential election in 2000 when USA Supreme Court judges decided in favour of their appointees. The five Republican appointed judges decided in favour of George Bush and the four Democratic appointed judges decided in favour of Albert Gore and George Bush got the presidency.
Good that India has retirement age for judges and that shall remain.
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In India appointment of judges is shrouded in secrecy. It is time to make it open.
The names of judges who are to be appointed to the Supreme Court and High Courts should be made public. Committees should be appointed to discuss the appointments. For Supreme Court judges a committee comprising members of Lok Sabha should be appointed. Anyone who has objection to the appointment should mention in to the committee. The candidate should be given an opportunity to defend himself or herself. Similarly for High Court judges a committee comprising members of Legislative Assembly of the state should be appointed and procedure followed. Judges should be appointed after the committee clears appointments.
There is talk of corruption in the judiciary. Some allegations are open. Once a judge is appointed it is very difficult to remove him or her. It is better and required that people know who are going to be the judges.
The process of removal of judges should be short. Once the required number of MPs sign the petition for removal the judge should be notified and called to appear before House, Lok Sabha or Rajya Sabha, within 15 days. If that House votes two third for the removal the next House must vote within a week.
Live telecast of court proceedings should be allowed. Exemption may be made when victimâ€™s identity needs to be protected.
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