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Madras HC becoming subject of public ridicule: CJ Agrawal

Justice Agrawal said that more than the personal comments, it was the innuendoes directed at the 150-year-old institution which made it a subject of public ridicule that pained him.

Chennai |
February 14, 2014 1:19:19 am

The outgoing Chief Justice of Madras High Court R K Agrawal, whose tenure saw unprecedented incidents including lawyers boycotting court protesting the judge-designates chosen by the HC collegium and an open outburst by a brother judge against the same, warned that the institution was becoming a subject of public ridicule.

Justice Agrawal was talking at a farewell organised in the court on Wednesday after he was elevated to the Supreme Court the day before.

While the advocates in the Madras High Court and subordinate courts are an active and often volatile group, the recent past witnessed incidents that stunned even the most experienced.

“Believe me, many of my colleagues here have privately expressed their desire to seek voluntary transfer to other High Courts. My colleagues from other High Courts are hesitant to come to this court,” Agrawal said.

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He also recounted judge C S Karnan’s confrontation with him that created a huge controversy.

“Friends, I seek to mention an unfortunate incident which happened recently with me. In my entire career of more than 37 years both in the Bar and at the Bench, nobody, be it my friends or foes, had raised their voice while talking to me or while addressing me during proceedings. But here on one fateful day, a respected colleague of mine hurled invectives at me and cast aspersions at the affairs of this court,” he said.

Justice Agrawal said that more than the personal comments, it was the innuendoes directed at the 150-year-old institution which made it a subject of public ridicule that pained him.

“The danger,” he added, “is from within, not outside.”

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HC reserves verdict on plea of accused in PF scam

EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE

ALLAHABAD, FEBRUARY 13

The Allahabad High Court on Thursday reserved its judgement on a petition filed by the accused in the Ghaziabad provident fund (PF) scam challenging the special CBI court order against plea for allowing them to confront other alleged perpetrators, who had been made approvers in the case.

The accused — Arun Kumar, R P Mishra and three district judges — had approached the high court against the lower court order, passed early last month. Justice Amreshwar Pratap Sahi reserved the judgement after hearing arguments from the both the sides.

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Mishra said: “Our plea was that we be given a chance to confront those accused, who turned approvers. Our argument was that under Section 145 of the Indian Evidence Act, read with Section 162 of the Criminal Procedure Code, the accused were entitled to a chance for confronting the accused, who were made approvers. The court has reserved its judgement.”

Earlier, the lower court had rejected the plea of the accused on the ground that the CBI had presented only gist of the statements made by the accused-turned-approvers, and not the entire statements.

The Ghaziabad PF scam pertained to alleged siphoning-off of over Rs 6 crore from the PF accounts of class 3 and 4 employees of the Ghaziabad district court. Six district judges, two of whom later became high court judges, were among 76 accused in the case.

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First published on: 14-02-2014 at 01:19:19 am
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