Eminent jurist and former Supreme Court judge V.R. Krishna Iyer has said that the refusal of three Kerala High Court judges to hear the revision petition in the SNC-Lavalin graft case amounted ‘to breach of the solemn obligation vested in them’, which should ‘invite impeachment by Parliament or dismissal by the President’.
Expressing shock at the recusal of three judges of Kerala High Court to hear the revision petition in the case filed by Nandakumar, editor, Crime magazine, Mr. Iyer said in a letter addressed to Governor Nikhil Kumar that the judges’ action amounted to ‘grave dereliction of duty by the highest judiciary in the State’.
In the letter, released for publication, Mr. Iyer pointed out that ‘every judge is obliged by his oath of office to hear every case posted before him and do justice’. The judges, by virtue of their high office and vast powers vested in them under the Constitution, were bound to adjudicate every case posted before them. This, he said, was a great duty from which they could not retreat.
As head of the State, the Governor had the authority to find out whether the judges of the High Court discharged their functions truthfully and whether there was delinquency and violation of their fundamental duty to hear and do justice. The Governor should take a grave view of the situation and, in consultation with the President of India, take suitable action to see that every judge of the High Court, so long as he does not resign and is not impeached out of office, performed expeditiously his judicial obligations, Mr. Iyer said.
Keywords: SNC-Lavalin graft case