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Allahabad High Court: Corruption allegation against newly appointed Judge

Team SoOLEGAL 22 Nov 2018 5:09pm

Allahabad High Court: Corruption allegation against newly appointed Judge

A petition levelling allegations of corruption and misconduct against a newly appointed Additional Judge of the Allahabad High Court, Justice RK Gautam, came up before the Supreme Court today.

Justice Madan B Lokur before whom the matter came up, recused from the case.

The oath-taking ceremony of the newly appointed judges of the Allahabad High Court was scheduled to be held today. Owing to this, Senior Counsel Vikas Singh, appearing for the petitioners, had mentioned the matter before Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi on Tuesday seeking urgent listing.

All the relevant materials in the case were presented to CJI Gogoi, and the matter was listed to be heard by the Bench headed by the second senior-most judge of the Supreme Court, Justice Madan Lokur. Justice Deepak Gupta was also on the Bench.

Justice Lokur is also a member of the Supreme Court Collegium that passed the resolution to recommend RK Gautam J. to the post of Additional Judge of the Allahabad High Court. The appointment of Gautam J was subsequently notified by the Central government on October 8, 2018.

Justice Lokur recused himself from hearing the case saying that another Bench will hear the matter in the coming week.

The petition alleges misconduct and corruption on the part of Gautam J. He was a District Judge in Meerut in 2015-16, when a complaint was made against him by the petitioner before then Chief Justice of the Allahabad High Court DY Chandrachud. 

The complaint had made several allegations against Gautam J. including his alleged involvement in a racket to secure acquittals for heinous crimes, his close proximity to persons accused of grave crimes like rape and kidnapping, his alleged failure to report corruption to the High Court etc.

Upon receipt of this complaint, Chandrachud J had ordered a discreet Vigilance Inquiry into these allegations. The enquiry was conducted by OSD Vigilance, Anil Kumar Shrivastav. Pending the inquiry, Chandrachud J was elevated of to the Supreme Court, following which, the petitioner claims, Shrivastav colluded with Gautam J and gave him a clean chit in his inquiry report.

The petitioner had challenged this report on the judicial side of the Allahabad High Court, which dismissed the same on the ground that the complaint was not supported by an affidavit. The same decision was then challenged before the Supreme Court.

During the pendency of the Special Leave Petition before the Supreme Court, the Allahabad High Court Collegium recommended Gautam J for elevation to the High Court and the said recommendation was accepted by the Supreme Court Collegium. The petitioner had even sent a communication in this regard to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Ram Nath Kovind, wherein it was stated,

“Hon’ble Supreme Court has been kept in dark and full true facts have not been placed and consequently Hon’ble Supreme Court’s Collegium has also cleared the name of Mr. Ram Krishna Gautam.”

In the petition filed before the Supreme Court in September 2017, the petitioner has prayed for a fresh probe into the allegations against the judge.

Gautam J, along with the other newly appointed Additional Judges of the Allahabad HC, took their oath of office in a ceremony held today afternoon.

Tagged: Justice RK Gautam   Allahabad High Court   Additional Judge   Justice Madan B Lokur   Supreme Court  
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