September 19, 2010

apex court, apex corruption?

Prashant Bhushan, an advocate, faces contempt proceedings for calling half the last 16 former Chief Justices of India corrupt. Now he has submitted evidence to the Supreme Court against five previous CJIs. The Court is to hear the case next on November 10.

In his evidence, Bhushan has depended on suspicious judgments, houses built in eco-sensitive zones, taking plots from litigants whose case they were deciding and making orders favourable to a particular industrial house. He has also taken some proof from the documents forming part of impeachment notices against two judges; it is another matter that the impeachment never occurred. It is exceedingly difficult to get documentary evidence of corruption in higher judiciary, so he has to rely on circumstantial evidence.

The advocate's father and a former law minister Shanti Bhushan, an advocate himself, has accused 8 former Chief Justices of India of corruption, asked the Supreme Court to make him a party in the case and dared the Court to send him to jail for committing contempt of court. Legal fraternity is divided whether the father-son duo have a real case.

Technically, the Bhushans may lose the case and may even be penalised for contempt of court, but even the 'evidence' they have brought out in the public domain has served its purpose: to the cynical Indian, it proves what he feels he already knows.

P.S: Bhushan says, the present CJI, Kapadia, is a man of financial integrity.

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