New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday refused to entertain an Allahabad high court petition seeking expunction of its controversial remarks that something was “rotten” there and that it was suffering from “uncle judges syndrome” and stood by them.
At the same time, a bench of justices Markandey Katju and Gyan Sudha Mishra, while dismissing the Allahabad High Court’s application for expunging the remarks, clarified that there were “excellent and good judges too” in the court.
Rejecting the arguments of senior counsel P. P. Rao that even a clarification that some are excellent and good judges would still cause suspicion on the integrity of the judges, the bench remarked, “It is not just time to react but also to introspect.”
Reacting to the persistent plea of Rao that the clarification would not be sufficient, Justice Katju angrily retorted, “Do not tell all those things. I and my family have more than 100-year of association with the Allahabad High Court. People know who is corrupt and who is honest. So do not tell me all this.”
Justice Katju further observed, “Tomorrow, if Markandey Katju starts taking bribe, then the entire country will know about it. So do not tell me as to who is honest and who is corrupt.”
Rao submitted that the earlier observations had tarnished the image of the entire High Court judiciary and the rustic would not be able to distinguish between a honest and a corrupt judge.
“Do not tell me all those things about the rustic. They are much more enlightened. Do not think people of India are fools,” the bench observed while dismissing the application.
The Allahabad high court had taken strong exception to the apex court’s remarks that “something was rotten” and there was “rampant uncle judge syndrome” in the higher court.
In an application moved through its registry, the High Court had sought expunction of the remarks on the ground that they “have made difficult” for the judges to function and tarnished the reputation of the entire judiciary in Uttar Pradesh.
“The remarks are unfortunate and uncalled for and has brought down the image of the Allahabad high court judges in the eyes of the general public. The observations have made it difficult for the judges to function,” the application had stated.
It had submitted that judges of the High Court are appointed only after clearance from the Supreme Court collegium and as such, there was no scope to question their integrity.
On 26 November, in a strong indictment of Allahabad high court, the apex court had said, “There is something rotten” there and raised serious questions about integrity of several of its judges.