Impartial probe sought into extension of judge’s term

Updated - November 16, 2021 05:33 pm IST

Published - July 22, 2014 11:42 pm IST - NEW DELHI:

Two lawyers filed a public interest litigation (PIL) petition in the Supreme Court on Tuesday seeking an impartial, court-monitored investigation into the extension of the late Justice Ashok Kumar’s term as Additional Judge of the Madras High Court allegedly under political pressure and his confirmation as a permanent judge, as revealed by Justice Markandey Katju, a former Chief Justice of the court.

In the writ petition, N. Rajaraman and R. Krishnamurthy raised questions about the extension of Justice Kumar’s term as Additional Judge by two former Chief Justices of India — R.C. Lahoti and Y.K. Sabharwal — and his confirmation as a permanent judge by another — K.G. Balakrishnan.

Mr. Justice Katju revealed that despite an adverse Intelligence Bureau report against the judge, Mr. Justice Lahoti gave one extension under pressure from the then Law Minister, H.R. Bhardwaj, who acted under alleged threat from the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam to pull out of the United Progressive Alliance government.

Mr. Justice Sabharwal, who became Chief Justice after Mr. Justice Lahoti, gave another extension and Mr. Justice Balakrishnan, who followed Mr. Justice Sabharwal, confirmed him as a permanent judge.

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