Monday, November 17, 2014

HC upholds dismissal of judge charged with corruption

Gujarat high court has upheld dismissal of a judge that was found indulged in corrupt practices by asking the parties to give just Rs 100 to Rs 200 to pass order in their favour.

Upholding dismissal for corrupt practice, the HC observed, "The Judges, at whatever level may be, represent the State and its authority. Unlike the bureaucracy, judicial service is not merely an employment nor the Judges merely employees. They are holders of public offices of great trust and responsibility. If a judicial officer 'tips the scales of justice its rippling effect would be disastrous and deleterious'. Dishonest judicial personage is an oxymoron."

In this case, a civil judge C H Upadhyay was posted as JMFC during 1999 and 2002 at Upaleta, where members of local Bar association complained that Upadhyay created disharmony in the function of the court by passing discriminative orders or by causing inordinate delay in giving verdicts.

The Bar association complained, "Upadhyay damaged impression of judicial department by adopting corrupt practice, while pressurizing advocates to get favourable orders by paying money as per his demands. His such corrupt practice was a talk of the town that he was getting Rs 100 to 200 for cancellation of warrants while exercising corrupt practice in court cases... He had also directly demanded money for passing orders in favour of the advocates of Upleta Bar Assocation and by that way he used to directly collect money from the litigant for passing the orders."

The Bar association also passed two resolutions in 2000 expressing its grievance about his rude and insulting behaviour. He would not pass any order, if he was not paid the money as per his demand, the Bar said.

Besides, Upadhyay was also charged with corruption for deciding cases to favour accused persons, when he allegedly acted in nexus with a local police officer.

The HC ordered two different inquiries against Upadhyay in 2000 and in 2004. After conducting the inquiry, the HC administration punished him by dismissing him in both the cases - in 2009 and 2011. Upadhyay filed two petitions before the HC bench, and the petitions were heard simultaneously. The division bench upheld the outcome of inquiry and punishment of dismissal awarded to the judge.

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