The two judges who were arrested and later suspended for their alleged involvement in a corruption case have approached Gujarat High Court for quashing Vigilance Cell (judicial department) Rules, 1986, which prescribes that corruption cases against judges can be probed only by the vigilance cell and not the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) under the Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA), 1988.
The two lower court judges — PD Inamdar and A D Acharya — have moved the petitions seeking quashing of the vigilance cell rules. The petitions were listed on Tuesday for hearing in the division bench led by Chief Justice R Subhash Reddy but were adjourned to Wednesday. Their lawyer CJ Vin said that the petitions challenge the vigilance rules framed by the HC which were made basically to redress issues connected to corrupt practices in judiciary two years before the Prevention of Corruption Act came into being. He said that since PCA were enacted in 1988 which covers all government employees the HC vigilance cell should be quashed.
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These two judges are facing serious allegations of corruption. They were caught on camera while allegedly “settling money” over phone. Following complaint, the vigilance cell lodged an FIR against them and they were arrested subsequently. The vigilance cell in the HC acts like a police station.
A similar petition filed in June this year remains pending in the court. This petition was moved by a practicing advocate Mohammed Bilal Gulam Rasul Kagzi, 33, a resident of Mangrol, who has also questioning the legality of the Vigilance Cell (Judicial Department) Rules, 1986 framed by the High Court under Article 235 of the Constitution.
He has contended that the rules are in violation of the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 as the High Court doesn’t have power under Article 235 of the Constitution to make such rules, which are contrary to the Central act. Kagzi is facing a contempt case for making corruption allegations against a judge. He had sent a letter to the Anti-Corruption Bureau, Ahmedabad alleging corruption against the judge but the agency forwarded it to vigilance cell of the HC. Later on it was allegedly found that the allegations were wild.