A former judge was sentenced to three years in jail today for taking Rs 2000 as bribe 26 years ago,with the court saying that a judge’s ethical firmness is the need of the hour for society as people’s confidence in judiciary is getting shattered by the day.
74-year-old former judge Gulab Tulsiyani was handed down the jail term by Special CBI Judge V K Maheshwari who held him guilty of demanding and accepting illegal gratification for disposal of a factory challan case in 1986 during his tenure as a metropolitan magistrate at a Patiala House court here.
The court,which also imposed a fine of Rs 50,000 on the former metropolitan magistrate,however,suspended his sentence till May 28 after the convict expressed his wish to go in appeal against his conviction and sentencing.
While releasing him on an interim bail on a personal bond of Rs 50,000 with one surety of same amount,the court asked Tulsiyani to appear before it on May 29.
“Judicial office is an office of public trust,therefore high integrity,honesty,ethical firmness is the requirement of society from the judge. A judge’s conduct is expected to be judged by standards higher than that expected from any other public servant.
“The confidence in judiciary is getting shattered day by day. Today judiciary is suffering from self-inflicted wounds.
Judiciary must take utmost care to see that the temple of justice does not crack from inside,which will lead to a catastrophe in the justice delivery system resulting in the failure of public confidence in the system.”
The special judge also said in order to keep the “stream of justice clean and pure”,a judge must be endowed with “sterling character,unimpeachable integrity and upright
Special Judge Maheshwari considered Tulsiyani’s prayer for leniency,as he fervently pleaded with the court that he has undergone four or five brain surgeries after its hemorrhage while his son had died recently in an accident and there was no one else to take care of his wife,who is a heart patient.
The CBI,however,had sought stringent punishment for him saying his was a serious corruption case.
As per the prosecution,Tulsiyani while working as a MM had demanded the bribe for disposal of a factory challan case and had obtained Rs 2,000 from the complainant Ajesh Mittal.
The metropolitan magistrate had asked the complainant to pay the bribe at his house on June 7,1986,the CBI had said.
It had added that as Mittal was not willing to pay the bribe,he lodged a complaint with the CBI,which sent him to Tulsiyani’s residence with the bribe money and also with a tape recorder.
After giving the amount to the judge,Mittal came out on some pretext and called CBI sleuths inside,the CBI had said adding that on seeing the sleuths,the judge panicked and ran towards his toilet to flush out the bribe money,but failed to do so and was caught with the tainted money.
While convicting the former judge,the court had said the act of Tulsiyani entertaining Mittal at his house raised a question against the “decorum of a judicial officer”.
“In the case in hand,entertaining the complainant,who was accused in a challan case pending in the court of accused,at his house,as such his act of entertaining with complainant raises a big question against the decorum of judicial officer; rather all these circumstances taken together supports the prosecution version,” the court had said.