Can CJI cleanse system of corruption?



It was the unjust act of King Claudius causing agony and trauma to Prince Hamlet that made Marcellus scathingly comment about the Danish royal house in Shakespeare’s drama `Hamlet’ — “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.”

On Friday, the Supreme Court drew a parallel between the Danish royal house of `Hamlet’ with today’s Allahabad High Court and showed unusual fury in castigating some judges of Allahabad HC by saying two ex-parte interim orders passed on June 11 and 18 on a petition filed by one Raja Khan “were clearly passed on extraneous considerations”.

The SC pointed a finger at the integrity of some judges of the HC by narrating how their relatives practising in the same court had reaped luxury since they became judges. “There is something rotten in Allahabad HC,” it said in exasperation.

The worrying point: if this is the perception of the highest court of the country about the state of affairs in the largest HC, can the 20 crore people of Uttar Pradesh be blamed for carrying tales about injustice in the temples of justice?

Just a few days back, during a hearing in a sensitive case, a senior SC judge made a poignant remark: “When there is total failure in the system, where will the people go?”

A person knocks the doors of courts only after he gets disillusioned with the administrative merry-go-round. Given the crux of SC’s judgment on Friday, there is little he can do, except suffer in silence or resort to extra-judicial methods, as was warned by the same judge, to solve his problem.

Not long ago, in the All India Judges Association case in 1992, the SC had raised the common man’s hopes by setting exalting standards for judges. It had said, “The conduct of every judicial officer should be above reproach. He should be conscientious, studious, thorough, courteous, patient, punctual, just, impartial, fearless of public clamour, regardless of public praise, and indifferent to private, political or partisan influences.”

It added, “He should administer justice according to law, and deal with his appointment as public trust, he should not allow other affairs or his private interests to interfere with the prompt and proper performance of his judicial duties, nor should he administer the office for purpose of advancing his personal ambitions or increasing his popularity.”

No doubt, a majority of judges attempted to adhere to most of these qualities and were regarded as persons of “unimpeachable integrity”. And this was reflected in then CJI Sam Piroj Bharucha‘s speech at Kollam, Kerala, on December 22, 2002: “More than 80% of judges in this country, across the board, are honest and incorruptible. It is that smaller percentage that brings the entire judiciary into disrepute. To make it known that judiciary does not tolerate corruption in its ranks, it is requisite that corrupt judges should be investigated and dismissed from service.”

Present CJI, Justice S H Kapadia, declared on Friday, when the SC delivered the stinging judgment on the Allahabad HC, “I will prove that within the current system, in the next two years, when I am Chief Justice of India, that good judges can be appointed.”

Will the CJI’s assertion help lift the credibility of the present collegium system of appointment of judges, which many consider opaque. There may be pitfalls. If Justice Bharucha’s statement was interpreted as an admittance of prevailing level of corruption in judiciary, then Justice Kapadia’s assertion could also be understood to be a remark that certain appointments under the “current system”, prior to his becoming CJI, were not “good”.

Whatever be the interpretations, the task appears to be cut out for Justice Kapadia in the wake of the SC judgment indicting several judges of the Allahabad HC.

If he wants to lift the spirits of 20 crore people of Uttar Pradesh, then he must prepare for some drastic action to cut out the cancer of corruption threatening the justice delivery system in the state, graphically pointed out by a Bench of Justices Markandey Katju and Gyan Sudha Misra. We can only wish him luck.

Read more: Can CJI cleanse system of corruption? – The Times of India



  1. Repeated outbursts by SC is meaningless unless followed by some action. Its collective measures to re-introduce the transfer policy by SC and implimented by office of PM and President. Its collective failure of the decision makers.

  2. It is welcome sign that the problem is now taken in focus.I believe that the failed judicial system is the only breeding ground of corruption in the universe.When justice fails corruption breeds.The prevailing standard of fees charged by so called reputed Advocates is the first pointer to the existing corruption in the system and/or society, they have made justice a commodity,tradable and marketable.We heard of legal aid etc. for poor.. but as on date there is no Bill of Rights of litigants formulated by Bar or the Bench as on proforma contract available between Advocate/Client..for average citizen average Advocate are not available at affordable fees…Advocates are not rendering proper service inspite of paid… Will the CJI address these problems within 2 years???This is the first necessary step if he intends any desirable results..lets hope for the best and wish Best of Luck to the CJ.

  3. In continuation of my earlier comment… I have simple suggestion….Accord the status of Advocate… to all those who are ready and willing to appear as Party in Person.. this alone may solve half the problem.

    There is total lack of competency and competition in the judicial system.Take all the steps to increase both competency and competition which will go long way to improve the system.

  4. Now even GOD can not save this country’s poor, innocent, victim citizen. ‘Hans Chugega Dana Tinka Kavya Moti Khayega’ Jai Ho kaliyug…aage aage dekhiye hota hai kya? Hang a corrupt judge whole system will work correctly for Five years…

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