Judicial Institutions Need to be Saved from Corruption: Supreme Court

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The Supreme Court on Thursday sounded a clear warning to all and sundry who may have taken the administrative system for granted, to back off from attempting to malign judicial proceedings and taint it with the corrupt practices and stated that any attempt to improperly interfere with the Court proceedings will be dealt with sternly.

While hearing a petition by G. Janardhan Reddy, accused of bribing a trial judge with Rs. 10 crore for a favourable judgment in a case of bail, the bench of Justice T S Thakur and Justice Rohinton F Nariman observed that there is an imminent need to protect judiciary from the corruption that has become an epidemic in this country. They were vehement in their appeal to spare the judicial institutions.

GaliJanardhan Reddy, the mining baron had earlier petitioned the Court pleading that the two cases pending against him- one that deals with illegal mining and another with the alleged bribery of the trial judge- be clubbed together. He argued that they be combined since the facts and evidence pertaining to both the cases, arise from the same offence.

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The Supreme Court, meanwhile, expressed concern over the alleged attempt to bribe judges in order to buy favourable judgments for those in power. It observed that nowadays with the abundance of resources, people are even attempting to taint the judiciary by bribing judges. Further, the Court said, that the malaise stems from the fact that people have too much money with them, which they do not know what to make of.  Subversion of the system and the antecedent judicial proceedings, are the by-product, the bench said. The Court sent out a very public warning to anyone who wished to play with the judicial proceedings. While striving to eliminate the virus of corruption, the Court will take every effort to nip such a malpractice in the bud.

When the bench inquired about the amount of money that allegedly exchanged hands between the petitioner and the trial judge, the counsel for Janardhan Reddy tried to avoid the question. However, on the persistent insistence of the bench, the counsel relented and stated that the alleged bribe was supposed to be approximately Rs. 10 crore.

The counsel appearing on behalf of Mr.Reddy, has submitted that both the cases against his client were inter-related and hence, there is a need to try them together. In case, these cases are not heard together, there is a risk that the petitioner’s defence will be exposed and vulnerable. However, the bench rudely inquired, “What defence can a person for bribing a judge?”

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Earlier, the Central Bureau of Investigation had accused G. Janardhan Reddy of manipulating his bail proceedings, by bribing the trial judge T. PattabhiramaRao with an amount of Rs. 10 crore. T. PattabhiramaRao has been suspended by an order of the Andhra Pradesh High Court. Central Bureau of Investigation has filed an FIR against him, his son and five other persons including G. Janardhan Reddy.