Sunday, December 15, 2002, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

2 HC Judges told to go on leave
CJI reprimands Justice Singhal

New Delhi, December 14
Two judges of the Punjab and Haryana High Court were today asked to proceed on “indefinite” leave after a high-level judicial committee found “prima facie true” the charges of “undue influence and misuse of office” against them.

A third judge of the same court was, however, let off with a “reprimand” as he is retiring early next year, authoritative sources said here.

Justice Amarbir Singh Gill and Justice Mehtab Singh Gill were asked by the Chief Justice of India, Mr G.B. Pattanaik to proceed on indefinite leave pending further action after a three-member committee headed by Andhra Pradesh Chief Justice A.R. Lakshmanan, submitted its report on certain charges against them.

Justice M.L. Singhal has been reprimanded by the CJI, but no action was proposed to be taken against him as he is due to retire early next year, the sources said.

The committee was set up by the CJI after allegations were levelled against the three judges that they had used their influence with the former Chairman of the Punjab Public Service Commission Ravinderpal Singh Sidhu for getting jobs for their kin in the state government.

Meanwhile, another three-member committee set up to probe the alleged sex scandal involving three Karnataka High Court Judges today held an on-the-spot hearing in, Mysore when the resort-owner denied any such incident and the two journalists contradicted his claim.

Pleading ignorance about any such incident before the committee, constituted by the CJI, the owner — K Dilip Bidappa — said the resort had no links whatsoever with the alleged scandal and newspapers had unnecessarily dragged its name, thereby causing a “huge loss” to him.

Journalists M.B. Maramkal of The Times of India and Yogi of the New Indian Express, who deposed for nearly two hours, told the committee that they stood by their reports about the alleged incident having taken place.

The committee, comprising Justice C.K. Thakker, Chief Justice of Bombay High Court, Justice J.L. Gupta, Chief Justice of the Kerala High Court, and Justice A.K. Patnaik of the Orissa High Court, will hold another sitting in Bangalore tomorrow, official sources said.

In the midst of a snowballing controversy over the alleged scandal, the Chief Justice of India had formed the committee after receipt of the second report from the Chief Justice of the Karnataka High Court. PTI

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