Thursday, 29 September, 2022
HomeJudiciaryWon’t betray collegium trust but recent decisions disappointing: Retired SC judge Lokur

Won’t betray collegium trust but recent decisions disappointing: Retired SC judge Lokur

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Retired judge breaks silence on judge elevation row, says not aware of additional material that could have led to collegium rescinding December decision.

New Delhi: Retired Supreme Court judge Madan B. Lokur Wednesday expressed disappointment that the reasons why the Supreme Court Collegium had rescinded its 12 December decision, of which he was a part, had not been made public.

“I did not question any motive nor did I seek any explanation. It is not my job,” he said breaking his silence on the controversy.  “A decision was taken, if it was not put up, I am disappointed.”

Justice Lokur, speaking to senior journalist Rajdeep Sardesai at an event organised by a web portal in the national capital, said he wasn’t aware of any additional material, which would have prompted the collegium to rescind its decision elevating Rajasthan High Court Chief Justice Pradeep Nandrajog and Delhi High Court Chief Justice Rajendra Menon.

“Nothing was out before me,” he said. “But, I trust that if there’s somebody out there who is looking into this material.” He, however, disagreed with the suggestion whether this material, which was instrumental in rescinding the decision to elevate the judges to the top court, needed to be made public.

Justice Lokur, who retired last month, was dragged into a controversy after the SC collegium rescinded its 12 December decision — elevating Nandrajog and Menon to the apex court — instead recommending on 10 January the elevation of Delhi High Court judge Sanjiv Khanna and the Chief Justice of the Karnataka High Court Dinesh Maheshwari.

Speaking publicly for the first time since he retired on 30 December, Justice Lokur kept mum on what went on at the contentious collegium meeting despite being prodded incessantly.  “What happens at the collegium is done in confidence. I am not going to betray that trust,” he said.

The controversy, however, wasn’t the only aspect of the judiciary addressed by Justice Lokur, who was part of the press conference called by the then senior-most judges in the Supreme Court against the then CJI.

Also read: Sluggish bureaucracy to homophobia, what makes SC Justice Madan B. Lokur very angry

On judicial overreach

When asked whether the top court should be running the BCCI through judgments, the former SC judge said that the apex court had overstepped its jurisdiction.

“I won’t comment on individual cases. But, yes, there are cases where judges have gone beyond their jurisdiction,” he said.  The executive overreaches, the legislative overreaches even the judiciary has done so. It is time we take a step back, the former judge added.

On NJAC, MoP and appointment of judges 

The former judge, who was part of the October 2016 judgment that declared the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) unconstitutional, which essentially put a top court seal on the collegium system, backed his decision.

He, however, asserted that like all systems, this too needed to be tweaked.

He further agreed that the Memorandum of Procedure (MoP) – finalised by the top court in March 2017, is silent on the issue of complaints against the chief justice, adding that there is a “need to bring about a change”.

What do you do when the government sits on a file for months together? Lokur asked referring to the controversy over the elevation of Justice K.M. Joseph. There had to be a mechanism by which timelines need to be strictly adhered to, he said.

There is a possibility, that the government sits on a file because they didn’t want a particular judge, Lokur said.

Also read: Prevent ‘another historical blunder’: Ex-judge to President on names cleared by SC collegium

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  1. My dear countrymen,
    Beware of a new breed of Judges, particularly the present CJ of BHC, namely, Pradeep Nandrajog!

    In a nutshell, Pradeep Nandrajog has authored a “Judgment” dated 14.12.2010 in Writ Petition (Civil) No. 916 of 2007, titled Vijay Kumar Agarwal, IAS versus Union of India and another.

    The said “Judgment” dated 14.12.2010 has, in paras 19 and 27, falsely alleged that the petitioner did not disclose to the CAT in O.A. No. 1714 of 2003 that he had received an amount of Rs. 6,82,290/- from Respondent No. 2 (State of Maharashtra).

    The truth, however, is that O.A. No. 1714 of 2003 was filed on 7.7.2003 and the said amount of Rs. 6,82,290/- was paid to the petitioner on 14.5.2004. Therefore, it was humanly impossible for the petitioner to disclose on 7.7.2003 something which happened subsequently, i.e., the said payment was made on 14.5.2004. Therefore, the said false allegation contained in the said paras 19 and 27 of the said “Judgment” dated 14.12.2010 in Writ Petition (Civil) No. 916 of 2007, authored by Pradeep Nandrajog, is completely belied.

    The relevant portions of the said false paras 19 and 27 of the said “Judgment” dated 14.12.2010 in Writ Petition (Civil) No. 916 of 2007 are reproduced below:

    “19…..Relevant would it be to note that by the time petitioner filed

    the original application he had received Rs. 6,82,290/-………..

    He did not disclose to the Tribunal that….he had received full

    salary for the period 1.5.1988 till 13.5.1996.”

    “27……………………………. full pay and allowances for the

    period he remained under suspension……..we note had

    already been paid to him when he went to the Tribunal.

    It is unfortunate that the Tribunal did not even bother to note

    that……the State had tendered Rs. 6,82,290/- to the petitioner

    towards full salary for the period 1.5.1988 till 13.5.1996……”

    This is not a solitary example of falsehood resorted to by Pradeep Nandrajog. Indeed, Pradeep Nandrajog has resorted to falsehood, a multi-cornered mendacity and a smorgasbord of deliberate deceptions throughout the said “Judgment”. But, I am deliberately refraining from multiplying such examples.

    In a nutshell, the judicial misconduct of Pradeep Nandrajog, Ex-Judge of Delhi High Court (vide his “Judgment” dated 14.12.2010 in WP (C) No. 916 of 2007, titled Vijay Kumar Agarwal versus UOI and another) may be aptly summed up, in the words of Alan M. Dershowtiz, Harvard Professor of Law, vide “Introduction” to his book “The Best Defense”, as follows:

    “One working title for this book was ‘Black Robes, White Lies.’ That

    would have been appropriate, because lying, distortion, and other forms

    of intellectual dishonesty are endemic among judges….Beneath the

    robes of many judges, I have seen corruption, incompetence, bias,

    laziness, meanness of spirit, and plain ordinary stupidity. I know of

    numerous instances where judges have made false claims about what

    they read, distorted the records, and engaged in other deceptions. Why

    judges are permitted to get away with – and indeed are often praised for

    — this kind of intellectual dishonesty is an important and largely

    unanswered question confronting the American legal system.”

    Propagate lies.

    What a shame!

    Simply incredible, yet true.

    We should be ashamed to live in a country where a new breed of Judges of HC and SC propagate lies in their “Judgments”.

    Jhoot bolna crime ki duniya ki pehli sidhi hai.

    Therefore, my head hangs in shame when I realise that I am living in a country where Judges of HC and SC propagate lies in their “Judgments”.

    Therefore, Pradeep Nandrajog may either himself exit gracefully or be shown the door through impeachment.

    Are you listening Mr. Prashant Bhushan, Mr. Dushyant Dave, Mr. Mannan Kumar Mishra and other misguided supporters of Pradeep Nandrajog?

    Despite two favourable Judgments of SC dated 30.8.1988 and 29.1.2014, your fellow citizen has been rendered a raodmaster for the last more than 30 years. If this has happened to me, it can happen to anybody. Our future, our democracy and our institution of rule of Law is in serious danger and peril.

    Jai Hind.

    For more details:

    VIJAY KUMAR AGARWAL, EX-IAS. PHONE: 011-22485508. Mobile: 9560172716.

    MORAL RE-ARMAMENT CENTRE (Honesty, Purity, Unselfishness, Love)

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