The former Judge of the Supreme Court, V.R. Krishna Iyer, has written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to ensure that the post of the Chief Justice of Kerala High Court which is about to fall vacant shortly with the retirement of the incumbent S.R. Bannurmath “is filled by a fine robed brother after due care and invigilation.”
“The high office of Chief Justice should be occupied by a sublime soul and never by one who is under a shadow,” Mr. Iyer said in his statement on Tuesday. He, however, added that he was making “no insinuation against anyone” [considered for the post].
“Certain names as successor are rumoured and there are also allegations against them. We want a clean Chief Justice and never a suspect one,” Mr. Iyer said. Lauding Mr. Bannurmath as one with a fine reputation, the jurist noted that his successor must naturally be equally good and great.
Mr. Iyer noted that the collegium was exercising the power of transfer of Chief Justices from other States to Kerala. “To my mind, this is usurpation without authority but the Executive is not setting up a code of conduct by constitutional amendment against judicial delinquency.”
He observed that the judiciary had great powers under the Constitution and its integrity, incorruptibility, excellence and freedom from passion or pressure was vital for the survival of Indian democracy. “But corruption and sexual proclivities are escalating amidst the robed brethren to a scandalous and shocking point,” Mr. Iyer said.
As the Prime Minister, Dr. Singh had the paramount duty to the country to investigate into the character and social philosophy, the integrity and ability of any proposed Chief Justices, Mr. Iyer said. “Already the judicature in India is on its dark days although there are good judges.”