In farewell speech, attacks SC judge and Karnataka HC judge for damaging his prospects of ‘climbing higher in the judiciary’
A senior judge of the Karnataka High Court, who was at one point tipped to be Chief Justice, attacked a judge of the Supreme Court and a former colleague in the Karnataka High Court for damaging his prospects of climbing higher in the judiciary through allegations of impropriety in the course of his farewell speech here on Monday.
Justice K L Manjunath, who became a judge of the Karnataka HC in December 2000, and is currently the senior most, accused members of the judiciary of launching “a wild campaign” against him to ruin his career.
The judge was alleged to have conducted an act of impropriety by sitting in judgment on a dispute involving his own daughter’s property a few years ago. He was cleared by a Supreme Court inquiry. Justice Manjunath claimed that a campaign was launched against him in September 2013 amid rumours that he would be appointed the Chief Justice of Karnataka. “A false complaint was filed against me on 4-10-2013 and 28-10-2013 by one Dr Furqan of Delhi alleging that I have amassed wealth,’’ the judge said.
This was followed by the publication of similar allegations in a one-off magazine Crime published from Kerala and circulated widely around the country at the instance of a judge of the Karnataka High Court and his son, Justice Manjunath claimed in his speech. “On the complaint of Dr Furqan and the article in the yellow journal, an inquiry was conducted behind my back by the then Honorable Chief Justice of India and in the inquiry it was revealed that all the allegations made against me were false and the complaint was rejected,’’ he said.
Later in May 2014 when his name was cleared for transfer to Punjab and Haryana High Court, a new campaign was launched after a former Chief Justice of Karnataka, who is now a sitting judge of the SC, wrote to the CJI and a PIL was filed against him by lawyers from Tamil Nadu, the judge alleged. Despite SC not finding substance in allegations against him, the members of the collegium kept his file pending for over 10 months, he said.
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