The Chief Justice of the Patna High Court has ordered all judicial work to be withdrawn from Justice Rakesh Kumar, the senior-most judge in the Court after the latter passed an order saying that “corruption in this High Court is an open secret”.
Hours after Justice Rakesh Kumar, most senior judge in the #Patna High Court, passes an order saying “corruption in this High Court is an open secret”, chief justice withdraws all judicial work from him, asks him to wait in his Chambers until otherwise directed. pic.twitter.com/il7ahn9bsl
— Utkarsh Anand (@utkarsh_aanand) August 29, 2019
The judge had urged upon the Chief Justice of India and the Supreme Court collegium to take action on the corrupt judicial practices rampant in Bihar. “After my elevation as a judge, I started to notice that senior judges were buttering Chief Justice. Initially, I thought why such action was shown by the senior judges, but after some time, I could gather that such actions were being taken to get their favourite or caste man elevated as a judge or do some favour to corrupt judicial officers,” the judge recorded in an order on Wednesday.
Justice Kumar also highlighted the issue of four judicial officers who he believes ought to have been dismissed from service considering the accusations against them but were let off with mild punishments. “An inference can be drawn that those officers were having protection from the High Court. If after noticing all those facts, I only become a spectator, certainly, I can never forgive me,” he said.
“It is also an open fact that wards of judges are practising in Patna High Court. Ward of one of [the] judges, even during a short period of his profession, has taken classes in Bihar Judicial Academy and got honorarium,” his order further stated.
“It is known to everyone that one senior judge from the Allahabad High Court during Fodder Scam period had got his wife nominated as Rajya Sabha Member. This was not the end. Again, there was a judge from Allahabad High Court, who granted bail to an accused whose record of bail petition was lying in the Chamber of Hon’ble Mr Justice Akhilesh Chandra (as he then was), who was hearing his bail petition. So, corruption in this High Court is an open secret,” the judge added.
The judge’s scathing criticism of his colleagues was unrelenting. He said, “Of course, being a Judge, there are many restrictions, but fact remains that the Judges, besides administering justice, are enjoying certain privileges also. It has been noticed that instead of discharging duty, we are more indulged in enjoying privileges.”
The judge also directed a copy of the order to be sent to the Prime Minister’s Office and the Union Law Ministry. The Chief Justice of the Patna High Court appears to have not taken kindly to the assertions made in the judge’s order. Justice Kumar was elevated to the bench after 26 years of practice.