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Corruption in judiciary will not be tolerated: CJI Thakur

Chief Justice of India Tirath Singh Thakur (Photo – The Hindu)

New Delhi, 06 Dec 2015: Chief Justice of India Tirath Singh Thakur on Sunday asserted that there would be no tolerance towards deviant behaviour and corruption by judges.

“We will be intolerant towards deviant behaviour and allegations of corruption and cleanse the institution,” he said on being asked about allegations of corruption against certain judges in the course of his interaction with media persons after assuming office as the CJI.

On being asked about Justice C.S. Karnan of Madras High Court who has been at loggerheads with his chief justice, Chief Justice Thakur, without mentioning any individual judge, said: “We will take note of it and take corrective action for any deviant behaviour coming (from judiciary) from Kashmir to Kanyakumari.”

“The system must react to what is not acceptable. We should not remain quiet on what is not acceptable,” he said, indicating the course that the top judiciary would take in dealing with errant judges during his tenure which would last just over a year.

Citing the difficulties in dealing with deviant judges, Chief Justice Thakur pointed out that “in case of doubtful situation, the benefit of doubt would go to the institution (of judiciary) and not to the individual”.

He said there were some misgivings about how certain judges conduct themselves and that brings into question the issue of credibility.

A strong and independent judiciary was capable of protecting people from attacks on the inclusive values of Indian society, Chief Justice T.S. Thakur said .

“As the head of the institution that upholds the rule of law and protects the constitution, the right of all sections of people will be protected,” Chief Justice Thakur said in his first media meet after assuming charge of the Supreme Court.

“Our existence is itself based on tolerance,” he said, wondering how some political people can twist it to their advantage.

Assuring that judiciary was there to protect and safeguard their rights, the chief justice said: “We are capable of protecting the rights of all sections of the people. It is our responsibility. Rule of law and constitutional guarantees are enshrined (in the constitution).

“What to talk of citizens, rights of all the people will be protected. There is nothing to fear.” He added: “The rule of law is even for non-citizens.”

Chief Justice Thakur said: “Itna badha desh hai, kuchh awaaj to uththi hai” (It is such a big country. Some discordant notes will be there.)

So long there was rule of law, constitutional guarantees and an independent judiciary, “tab tak kisi baat ka dar nahin hona chaiye” (till then one should not fear anything).

Pointing to the long, rich and all-inclusive traditions of India, he said: “This country has been a home for all religions of the world. People who were persecuted in other places have come here and flourished.”

Describing it as “our heritage”, Chief Justice Thakur gave the example of Parsis who came from Persia saying they gave India the best industrialists and “finest legal minds” — referring to Nani Palkiwala and Fali Nariman. (IANS)