At least 75 complaints of corruption and misconduct against serving judges of the Supreme Court and high courts were forwarded in the last one year for appropriate action by the government to the Chief Justice of India (CJI) and chief justices of concerned high courts.
department of the law ministry, which forwards these complaints, has told HT that it is unaware of any action taken on these complaints by the chief justice of India or of the respective high courts.
The department sent 15 complaints against SC judges and nine against chief justices of high courts to the CJI and 51 to chief justices of high courts against judges working in their courts.
The complaints have been sent by the public, lawyers and activists. This has information been revealed after first being declined by the justice department through a Right to Information (RTI) query by Delhi-based activist Subhash Agrawal.
HT has the complete list of the judges but is withholding the names, since allegations against them cannot be independently verified.
As of now the government has no powers to initiate investigations into allegations against the higher judiciary. Any probe has to be sanctioned by the CJI. The governments view is that the Judicial Standards and Accountability Bill, already passed by the Lok Sabha, will also get the Rajya Sabha nod during the current session and will help in curbing corruption in judiciary.
The bill for the first time will allow the citizens to file complaints against corrupt judges, which will then be probed, if the investigating panel finds merit in them.
In addition to these complaints, 12 against former CJI and National Human Rights Commission chairman K G Balakrishnan have also been forwarded. The former CJI has been accused of involvement in several cases of corruption.