Political protection should not be given to corrupt judges:CJI

New Delhi: Concerned over judiciary`s image coming under a cloud in the wake of corruption charges, Chief Justice S H Kapadia on Saturday said there was a need for "clean man in black robe" and asked the political class not to protect corrupt judges.

"We have to live by examples. We need a clean man in black robe to uphold the independence and integrity of the judiciary," the CJI said while cautioning the judges from inevitably ending up in the political arena.

The CJI said judges should maintain self restraint and avoid being in touch with lawyers, political parties, their leaders or ministers and high ranking judges should not interfere in the administrative work of court lower to it.

"Internal interference from a high ranking Judge which, if resisted, could lead the lower ranking Judge being transferred or being denied promotion also needs to be deprecated. Similarly, political protection should not be given to corrupt Judges," Kapadia said at the fifth M C Setalvad memorial lecture.

"A Judge must inevitably choose to be a little aloof and isolated from the community at large. He should not be in contact with lawyers, individuals or political parties, their leaders or ministers unless it be on purely social occasions," he said.

The CJI`s remarks assume significance as the issue of corruption allegedly involving sitting judges P D Dinakaran and Soumitra Sen, who are facing impeachment proceedings in Parliament, were raised by other speakers.

Senior advocates Anil Divan and P P Rao voiced serious concerns over judges being involved in corruption.

The CJI began his speech by saying that "I am an eternal optimist and I can see that in future things are going to improve as far as integrity and as far as credibility of the Supreme Court is concerned."

Kapadia said the judges should not accept any type of patronage and stick to judicial norms.

"The Judge should not accept patronage through which he acquires office, preferential treatment or pre-retirement assignment. These can give rise to corruption if and when quid pro quo makes a demand on such Judges", he said.

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