New Delhi: The Lok Sabha was adjourned till 2pm on Tuesday with members of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) protesting for a second day, demanding an investigation into the extensions given to a Madras high court judge who was later confirmed as a permanent judge.

Press Council of India chairman and former Supreme Court judge Markandey Katju wrote in a Times of India article on Monday that three former chief justices had given extensions to the judge suspected of corruption during the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) rule after political pressures from the government.

Law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government will look into the imperative need to improve the judicial appointment system. The minister said the government wants a national judicial commission.

Pointing out that the judge, who was alleged to be corrupt, is no more and the chief justices referred in Katju’s article have retired, the law minister said: “The clock cannot be turned back."

The AIADMK lawmakers who had disrupted the proceedings on Monday raised the demand again during zero hour on Tuesday. The Congress, meanwhile, repeated its stand that matters related to chief justices cannot be raised in parliament. However, AIADMK parliamentarians continued their protest.

In his blog, Katju on Tuesday posed six questions to one of the three former chief justices—justice R.C. Lahoti—on the issue. He asked if, after receiving an adverse Intelligence Bureau (IB) report against the additional judge, Lahoti, who was then chief justice, had called a meeting of the three-judge SC collegium consisting of himself and justices Y.K. Sabharwal and Ruma Pal and if the collegium recommended not to extend the two-year-term of the judge after studying the IB report.

On the timing of his article, Katju said: “Some people have commented about the timing of my statement. What happened was that some Tamilians had commented on Facebook that I am posting several matters on my Facebook post; so I should also post some of my experiences in Madras high court. Then I started posting about my experiences there, and it was at time I remembered this experience, too, and posted it," he said.

Katju asked: “Is it, or is it not, correct that after that recommendation of the three-judge collegium of the Supreme Court was sent to the government of India, he (justice Lahoti), on his own, without consulting his two other Supreme Court collegium colleagues, wrote a letter to the government of India asking the government to give another one-year term as additional judge to the concerned judge?"

The allegation on how an unnamed additional judge of Madras high court was given extension at the instance of UPA-I government owing to pressure from an ally, a “Tamil Nadu party", apparently the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), and then confirmed as a permanent judge led to an uproar on Monday in Parliament by AIADMK MPs, even as questions were raised by parties such as Congress on its timing.

Katju further said: “If indeed the IB reported, after an enquiry, that the judge was indulging in corruption, why did he (justice Lahoti) recommend to the government of India to give that corrupt judge another term of one year as additional judge in the high court?"

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