Saturday, August 31, 2002, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

CJI yet to read probe report
Gets warm reception at hometown
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Hoshiarpur, August 30
“I have received the inquiry report but have not gone through whole of it as yet,” says Mr Justice B. N. Kirpal, Chief Justice of India, while referring to the withdrawal and subsequent restoration of work to three Judges of the Punjab and Haryana High Court. The report was submitted to him by the Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court, Mr Justice A. B. Saharya, early this week.

Mr Justice Saharya was assisted by the Additional Director-General of Police (Security), Mr A.P. Bhatnagar, and the Inspector-General of Police, Vigilance, Mr Chandersekhar, in conducting the inquiry about the suspected role of the sitting judges of the high court in the PPSC recruitment scam.

“I will go through the entire report on my return,” he said.

He refused to comment on the dispensing with the services of judicial officers appointed on the recommendation of the PPSC headed by Ravi Sidhu. “The matter is before the high court. It is subjudice,” he said while interacting with newsmen after inaugurating a special lok adalat here.

The Chief Justice of India said the Union Government was expected to give its decision on increasing the strength of judges in some high courts soon. The strength of judges is reviewed every three years.

Mr Justice Kirpal said that the system of delivery of justice needed to be reorganised as 90 per cent to 95 per cent of the disputes taken to courts involve no law point. Talking about the Judicial Commission, he said that it was for the government to take a decision. “I personally feel that there is no harm in giving it a try,” he said.

Talking about his visit to Punjab, he said Mr Justice Ashok Bhan persuaded him to visit his ancestral home. “Though I have never lived in Punjab, my parents and grandparents originally came from Garhshankar. During Partition, our family moved from Lahore to Delhi.

“Though I cannot read or write Punjabi, it is the only language we speak at home,” he said as he answered a variety of questions on the judicial system in the country.

Earlier on his arrival at Garhshankar, about 50 km from here, Mr Justice B.N. Kirpal and his wife were accorded a warm reception by the Kirpal family of the town and VIPs. He was felicitated by the Municipal Committee, Rotary Club of Garhshankar and some educational organisations.

Mr Ved Parkash Kirpal, a cousin of the Chief Justice, said Lala Ishar Dass and Lala Amarnath, grandfather and father of Mr Justice Kirpal, respectively, were born and brought up in Garhshankar before they moved to Lahore.

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