Chennai: Amid contradictory claims by former CJI K G Balakrishnan and justice H L Gokhale, retired Madras High Court judge justice R Reghupathi on Sunday said he was “not interested in any blame-game” on the controversy over former IT minister A Raja’s alleged attempt to influence him in a criminal case.
As the controversy refused to die down, justice Regupathi also said it was not proper for him to pursue the matter further.
“I am not interested in a blamegame. It is unfortunate that a section of media reported some allegations against judges and that I was scared and confused...I feel damage has been caused to me (by the report), a person who was always transparent,” he told PTI in Chennai.
The issue of Raja’s alleged attempt to influence justice Regupathi came into focus again last week when justice H L Gokhale, then Madras HC Chief justice and now a Supreme Court judge, issued a statement contradicting former chief justice of India Balakrishnan’s remarks that he had not named Raja in his report to him.
Balakrishnan’s comments had come after the Madras High Court recently suspended Tamil Nadu Bar Council chairman R K Chandramohan, who had last year allegedly approached Regupathi taking the name of Raja for securing bail to an accused in a criminal case probed by the CBI.
The court had enclosed the letter written by justice Regupathi to justice Gokhale in which he is purported to have named Raja.
Justice Balakrishnan had been insisting that Raja’s name was not mentioned in the report by justice Gokhale, who, however contradicted it.
Asked whether Raja had tried to influence him in the case relating to a father-son duo in a marksheet scam, Regupathi, now practising in the Supreme Court, said today he did not wish to discuss the matter.
“Regarding the issue concerned, I am not willing to discuss the merits and demerits. It is not proper on my part to pursue this matter further from my end. It is upto the citizens and jurists to pursue it further or leave it as such,” he said.
“I have great respect and regard for higher judiciary. All along I was strictly following judicial code of conduct and maintaining my silence,” he said.
On the claim of Balakrishnan that he was not aware that Raja was the minister who had tried to influence him, Regupathi said he did not want to be drawn into a blame-game.
In his letter a portion of which was appended by the High Court, Regupathi had reportedly stated that Chandramohan had entered his chamber last year and pleaded that the case of the father-son duo for anticipatory bail be considered favourably as they were “family friends of a union minister by name Raja.”
Reghupathi, in his 7 July, 2009 letter to justice Gokhale, had said he had discouraged such conduct of Chandramohan and the case would be disposed of in accordance with law if it was listed before him.