Skip to main content

Evidence of failure of in-house procedure for investigating charges against sitting judges

Justice Hemant Gupta
By Prashant Bhushan*
On 03.03.2017, the Campaign for Judicial Accountability and Reforms (CJAR) sent a serious complaint against the then Acting Chief Justice of the Patna High Court, namely Justice Hemant Gupta, containing evidence of several charges of money laundering, acquiring several properties by illegal means, possessing disproportionate assets, and seeking to influence officer of the ED who was investigating these charges and had submitted a scathing report.
In pursuance of a resolution adopted in a Chief Justices conference 1997, it had been decided that an in-house procedure for investigating charges against sitting judges would be devised, in which the Chief Justice of India would constitute a committee of two Chief Justices of the High Court, and another High Court judge. 
However, despite there being considerable evidence for the aforementioned charges, and the existence of a taped conversation between the Justice Hemant Gupta and the ED officer in which he asked the ED officer to come and meet him to resolve the matter and thus, tried to influence him, no such in-house enquiry appears to have been set up, despite a further reminder dated 27.03.2017 sent to the Chief Justice of India. 
Also no communication whatsoever has been received by the CJAR from the Chief Justice of India as to what has been done to the complaint and why no in-house enquiry was set up to enquire into the charges.
On the other hand, we find that Justice Hemant Gupta has been promoted as the regular Chief Justice of the Madhya Pradesh High Court without any enquiry into the charges. It is learnt that the government of India was also seriously interested in the promotion of Justice Hemant Gupta who comes from an influential RSS background.
The failure of the Chief Justice of India to constitute an in-house enquiry against Justice Hemant Gupta shows the futility of this in-house procedure. It also shows that often Chief Justices’ act on subjective considerations and on the basis of his own personal equations with the judge concerned. 
This underlines the need for putting in place a permanent full time commission, which is independent of the government and the judiciary, for investigating complaints against judges and taking action against erring judges. The need for such a Commission has also been underlined recently by Justices Chelameshwar and Gogoi, in their separate judgment in Justice Karnan’s case.
Unfortunately, in the absence of such an independent mechanism, the only available resort is impeachment which is a political process, but needs to be resorted to in some extreme cases. The CJAR feels that the case of Justice Hemant Gupta is a fit case for commencement of impeachment proceedings and we urge leaders of all political parties to come together to initiate this process to protect the integrity of the judiciary.
A copy of the complaint dated 03.03.2017 along with annexures is enclosed. The last Annexure L is the note recorded by the Assistant Director of ED, PMLA regarding the attempt made by Justice Hemant Gupta to influence him. 
---
Convenor, Campaign for Judicial Accountability and Reforms

Comments

TRENDING

Did Modi promote Dholavira, a UNESCO site now, as Gujarat CM? Facts don't tally

By Rajiv Shah  As would generally happen, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s tweet – that not only was he “absolutely delighted” with the news of UNESCO tag to Dholavira, but he “ first visited ” the site during his “student days and was mesmerised by the place” – is being doubted by his detractors. None of the two tweets, strangely, even recalls once that it’s a Harappan site in Gujarat.

Labelling a Jesuit a Marxist? It's like saying if you use a plane, you become American

Jesuits: Cedric Prakash, Stan Swamy By Fr Cedric Prakash SJ* A thirteen- fourteen-year-old has many dreams! That's an impressionable age; at the cusp of finishing school. It is also a time when one tastes a different kind of freedom: to go for camps with boys of your own age (not with ones family). Such camps and outings were always enjoyed to the hilt. The ones, however, which still remain etched in my memory are the mission camps to the Jesuit missions in Maharashtra and Gujarat.

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Giant conglomerates 'favoured': Whither tribal rights for jal-jungle-jameen?

Prafull Samantara By Mohammad Irshad Ansari*  The struggle for “Jal, Jungle and Jameen” has been a long-drawn battle for the tribal communities of India. This tussle was once again in the limelight with the proposed diamond mining in the Buxwaha forest of Chhatarpur (Madhya Pradesh). The only difference in this movement was the massive social media support it gained, which actually seems to tilt the scale for the tribal people in a long time.

If not Modi, then who? Why? I (an ordinary citizen) am there! Main hoon naa!

By Mansee Bal Bhargava*  The number of women ministers is doubled in early July from the first term after cabinet reshuffle by the present government led by Narendra Modi. While there were 06 women ministers in the previous term, this term there are 11. The previous two governments led by Dr Manmohan Singh had 10 women ministers in each tenure. Are these number of women ministers something to rejoice in the near 75 years of independence? Yes maybe, if we think that things are slowly improving in the patriarchal system. This change is less likely to achieve gender balance in the parliament otherwise we require more than 11 as per the 33% reservation . This change is also less likely because the men politicians’ inability to handle the country’s mess is becoming more and more evident and especially during the corona crisis. Seems, the addition of more women ministers may be a result of the recent assembly elections where women played a decisive role in the election results. For example

Effluent discharge into deep sea? Modi told to 'reconsider' Rs 2275 crore Gujarat project

Counterview Desk  In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, well-known Gujarat-based environmentalist, Mahesh Pandya of the Paryavaran Mitra, has protested against the manner in with the Gujarat government is continuing with its deep sea effluent disposal project despite environmental concerns.

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Gujarat govt gender insensitive? Cyclone package for fisherfolk 'ignores' poor women

By Our Representative A memorandum submitted to the Gujarat government by various fisherfolk associations of the Saurashtra region of Gujarat under the leadership of Ahmedabad NGO Centre for Social Justice's senior activist Arvind Khuman, who is based in Amreli, has suggested that the relief package offered to the fishermen affected by the Tauktae cyclone is not only inadequate, it is also gender insensitive.

Debt bondage, forced labour, sexual abuse in Gujarat's Bt cottonseed farms: Dutch study

By Rajiv Shah  A just-released study, sponsored by a Netherlands-based non-profit, Arisa , “Seeds of Oppression Wage sharecropping in Bt cottonseed production in Gujarat, India”, has said that a new form of bondage, or forced labour, exists in North India’s Bt cottonseed farms, in which bhagiyas, or wage sharecroppers, are employed against advances and are then often required to work for years together “without regular payment of wages.”

Covid: We failed to stop religious, political events, admits Modi-dharmacharya meet

Counterview Desk An email alert sent by one the 11 participants, Prof Salim Engineer, on behalf of the Dharmik Jan Morcha regarding their "religious leaders' online meet" with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, even as offering "support to meet challenges of Corona pandemic", blames religious congregations, though without naming the Maha Kumbh and other religious events, which apparently were instrumental in the spread of the second wave.