Is Justice Katju a whistle-blower or rank opportunist?

If corruption in judiciary is a secret, then it is an open secret and it has been continuing for quite long time. It will be an oxymoron to say that the judiciary is insulated from the executive. The fact is that even after the introduction of the collegium system only such persons have been elevated to the bench, who have worked as the Law Officers in the High Courts or in the Supreme Court.It is difficult to find any advocate being elevated to the bench if he or she has not been a law officer at one point of time or the other. The reason behind it is that the state is the largest litigant in the courts, the law officers get the frequent opportunities to appear before the bench, and therefore they have the better prospects of being considered by the collegium for their elevation.

Now the controversy generated by the so-called revelation of Justice Katju about a corrupt judge of the Madras High Court is the old and stale one. Justice Katju has not named the judge in his disclosure but almost advocate of the Madras High Court knew about the late Justice Ashok Kumar. However, the way Justice Katju is projecting his image of a whistle blower is far from the realty. The more he is a defending the long spell of his silence and inaction during the period when he was holding the post of the Chief Justice of Madras High Court and the judge of the Supreme Court of India, the more he becomes a grotesque picture of his image in the eyes of the public. He has no explanation as to why he remained silent for three years after his retirement as the judge of the Supreme Court.

It may be noted here that Writ Petition was filed against the late Justice Ashok Kumar in the Supreme Court and the petitioners were the Senior Lawyer Shanti Bhusan and Advocate Kamini Jaiswal. The Supreme Court, although,refused to interfere with his appointment as a judge but it observed that the then Chief Justice of India R. C. Lahoti should not have been influenced by the stand of the Government in favour of confirmation of Justice Ashok Kumar. Where was Justice Katju at that time? He was the Chief Justice of Madras High Court, of course. What did he do then? Nothing, of course. What has been his contributiuon in purgating judiciary from corruption? The answer is big ZERO. His claim of a whistle blower is nothing but a preposterous statement.

Was it not the duty of Justice Katju to have sacrificed the judgeship of the Supreme Court for the sake of independent and corruption-free judiciary? Now Justice Katju says that he did not bring all these corrupt practices in the public domain because he was holding the august office as the judge of the Supreme Court. How ridiculous it is? By saying so Justice Katju is a painting himself with the laughable colours.

There is a difference between a whistle -blower and a person, who opens the lid for his/ her own interests. Not long ago Justice Katju wrote a very stinking article against the present Prime Minister of India saying, that all the perfumes of the Arabia would not able to wipe out the stains blood from the hands of Narendra Modi for the massacre of Muslims in Gujrat. He never knew that Narendra Modi would romp home with thunderous victory in the Lok Sabha election; otherwise, he would never have dared to write the article. In reply to that article Mr. Arun Jetly, the present Finance and Defence minister of India wrote another article in the same newspaper saying that the article of Justice Katju amounted to an exercise of bungalow hunting in Lutyens’ Delhi.

Needless to say, that when Narendra Modi came to power Justice Katju started cozying with present dispensation in different,, covert and over manners. Firstly; he became the champion of Uniform Civil Code, which he never supported in any one of his judgments either of the judge of different High Courts or as the Judge of the Supreme Court. Now when he is raising the matter related to the late Justice Ashok Kumar, he is trying to develop proximity with Narendra Modi government.

However, there is a silver lining in the so-called in the controversy raked by Justice Katju. This has given the opportunity to immediately go in for the National Judical Commission for the appointment of the judges because the system of Colloegum has become rotten. If the exclusive control of the executive in the appointment of the judges was wrong, the present system is no good. Therefore, there is a crying need that the government of today must discuss and debate about the National Judicial Commission and introduce a new system for the appointment of the judges, where the transparency must be the key factor.

The debate in public against the corruption in the judiciary should become more vocal. Till now judiciary has been treated as Holy Cow, this has further caused damage not only to the judiciary but to our healthy democratic system. In the tail end, it is expected that Justice Katju would opt out from the second term of the Chairmanship of the Press Council of India otherwise; an impression will go down that he is rank opportunist, who has created the controversy to serve his own ulterior motives to retain a his bungalow in the Lutyens’ Delhi.