The statement of Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on alleged rampant corruption in the judiciary – and "some lawyers writing judgments" – is not only irresponsible, but also objectionable.
On Wednesday, 30 August, the Chief Minister, while speaking to the media, said:
“Aaj jo bataiye itna corruption ho raha hai judiciary ke andar. Itna bhayankar corruption hai, kai wakil log toh maine suna hai, likh ke le jaate hain judgment aur judgment wohi aata hai." (Tell me, there is so much corruption in the judiciary today. Corruption is so much… I have heard that some lawyers write the judgment and take it along, and that judgment comes.)
“Kya ho raha hai judiciary ke andar? Chahe lower ho, chahe upper ho, haalat badi gambhir hai" (What is happening in the judiciary? Whether lower or upper, the situation is very serious), he added.
But the Chief Minister must understand that our judiciary is one amongst the three important wings of our constitutional apparatus – and the people of India have great faith in it. No effort should have been made to cause injuries to our judiciary by making such casual remarks.
This is a serious issue – and an absolutely unwarranted assault has been made on a premier Constitutional body.
'Unwarranted Assault on Premier Constitutional Body'
If the Chief Minister has any evidence, he should have first discussed the matter with the Chief Justice. I would like to ask him if he has spoken to the Chief Justice of the Rajasthan High Court before making such a damaging statement?
The Chief Minister, in my opinion, is in clear contempt of lowering the authority of the judiciary in the estimation of the public.
The Rajasthan High Court Chief Justice must call the Advocate General (AG) to court and seek an explanation from the state government, or constitute a committee of senior judges to make inquiries and submit a report. In such an inquiry, the AG and the Law Secretary should be asked to appear and place before the court, the material that is the basis of such a statement.
(Justice Govind Mathur is a former Chief Justice of the Allahabad High Court. This is an opinion piece and the views expressed are the author’s own. The Quint neither endorses nor is responsible for them. This piece has been edited for clarity and length.)