The controversy over the judiciary caving in to the political pressure for allowing a judge under corruption cloud to continue in office seems to be escalating with former Supreme Court judges trading charges against each other and making new revelations with each passing day.
Standing firm on his charges against the “corrupt” judge of the Madras High Court, Press Council of India chairman and former Supreme Court judge Markandey Katju disclosed on Saturday for the first time that the judge in question had allegedly demanded money from a relative of a judge of the same High Court.
In a response to queries by The Sunday Express, Katju claimed that S Ashok Kumar, the HC judge in question, was demanding money for passing a propitious order in some cases. “There was a case of one Ghaznavi, a relative of a retired Judge of Madras High Court Justice Siddiq, from whom he (Kumar) allegedly demanded money,” stated Katju in reply to the specific nature of corruption charges.
Also taking on former Chief Justice of India RC Lahoti, Katju said that when he informed the ex-CJI about the demand of money, the latter responded in a very casual manner. “When I told this (about the charges) to Justice Lahoti, he smiled and said in lighter vein that this Judge does not discriminate (in demands of money),” Katju said.
Katju has stirred a controversy by alleging that three former CJIs had compromised in giving extension to Kumar, an additional judge of Madras HC, at the instance of UPA government in the wake of pressure from an ally, apparently the DMK.