Restoring the image of high courts

Apropos of your editorial “Tackling errant Judges” (May 4) and Justice S.S. Sodhi’s article “The High Court Crisis: It could have been avoided” (May 5), the higher judiciary and the Press are two major pillars of the nation which continue to infuse confidence among the people for redressal of grievances. First, it was the issue of wards of the Judges in the list of the Sidhu scam, then came the membership of a club, not to mention the scandals in other High Courts and then the one-day leave by 25 Judges of the Punjab and Haryana High Court. The unwarranted remarks of the Patna High Court against the Supreme Court have further muddled the judicial waters. These acts on the part of the Judges have eroded the image of the High Courts concerned.

I do not know whey no action was taken against the Judges to defuse the situation. The authorities including the Chief Justice of India seem to be helpless in dealing with errant Judges who are expected to set exemplary standards of integrity and impartiality not only in their judicial duties but also in their personal lives. The CJI and a collegium of the Supreme Court Judges should be empowered through appropriate legislation to deal with such sensitive issues. This is necessary to restore people’s faith in the higher judiciary.

Brig H.S. SANDHU (retd), Panchkula




Justice S.S. Sodhi’s article “The High Court Crisis” reveals that there has been a failure of leadership in the Punjab and Haryana High Court and the Supreme Court. It appears that the Judges had given their representation to the Chief Justice as early as October, 2003 and, subsequently, on numerous occasions but little was done. Then, the Judges took leave in protest against the Chief Justice’s attitude. Obviously, something was drastically wrong with leadership.

Col. J.P. SINGH, Chandigarh


The editorial “Tackling errant Judges” rightly maintains that no effort should be spared to ensure that the judiciary retains the respect of the people it is supposed to serve. If the Judges start behaving like trade union workers, how can the people seek justice from them?

I am surprised to learn that the High Court Judges don’t have powers to deal with subordinate judges. It is time they were empowered to enforce discipline in the subordinate courts.

In the case of Punjab and Haryana High Court, 25 Judges proceeded on casual leave on April 19. Three Judges were, no doubt, summoned by the Supreme Court for consultation. But the Judges should not be let off. The circumstances which forced them to take such an extreme step needs to be investigated.

O. P. Garg, Patiala


This has reference to the report “CJI seeks powers to deal with errant Judges” (May 1). The new trend of retiring CJIs to comment upon corruption, especially in the subordinate judiciary, needs a close look. A look at the procedure for checking corruption would suggest that the subordinate judiciary is subject to procedures like minimum norms set for compulsary disposal of cases every month.

During the inspection of subordinate courts by the High Court judges, everyone including the Bar is free to complain against the corrupt practices adopted by any Judge. The Vigilance Department, headed by a senior judicial member, also inquires into the complaints. However, the higher judiciary does not have any system to monitor the conduct of the Judges. There is neither any inspection system nor complaint redressal system. Therefore, they are more amenable to corruption.

The comments of former CJI Justice V.N. Khare on corruption in the higher judiciary have negative implications. The judiciary will lose its respect in the eyes of the common man who will try to win his case by adopting unfair means. Instead of commenting on the conduct of the Judges after retirement, the CJI, while in office, should try to improve the image of the judiciary through concrete methods so that the common man regains his faith in the sacred institution.

ARUN SOLANKI, Advocate, Ambala

Acute water crisis

Though we deserve the right to basic amenities, we are without water for the past five days. The bills are proudly sent by the Municipal Committee, but not water. Sometimes, a rare tanker of water is seen, but fails to serve everyone’s needs.


Neerja monument

This has reference to the editorial “Crime and Punishment” (May 17). Neerja Bhanot demonstrated great courage and conviction. The US court’s judgment that imposed a 160-year imprisonment on her murderer will go a long way in discouraging such acts of terrorism. The government should build a monument in her memory at an appropriate place.



Neerja Bhanot was the soul of heroism, personifying the culture of bravery and was a phenomena. She proved that the life of an air hostess is exacting and demanding. Such embodiments of courage need a tangible tribute, to inspire others in the same lore. The least that Chandigarh could do to perpetuate her memory would be to christen the street/road, running in front of the school that she last attended after her name and for the school boards, to include a chapter on her in the textbook. Better late than never.

A befitting award like, say, “Joan of Arc” need to be bestowed on the young lady martyr, to baptise future generations for a spirit of supreme sacrifice in the service of humanity at large in her footsteps.

V.I.K. SHARMA, IAS (retd), Jalandhar City

No NDTV channel

The residents of Chandigarh have been deprived of the NDTV 24x7 news channel. When I contacted the cable operators, they said that they gave other news channels. But NDTV is the only English news channel and if the consumers want to watch it, they should get it.

Just a few days ago, NDTV English news had been stopped by the cable operators. The channel came back for a very short while, but was peremptorily shifted right to the end of the spectrum. And even when it comes, which is in fits and starts, the picture and sound quality is terrible.

These days we specially need to see news because so much is happening at the Centre. I hope the authorities will intervene and help the people watch the NDTV 24x7 channel.

AVI SODHI, Chandigarh


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