Interfering minister’s name was not shared: Balakrishnan (Lead)December 8th, 2010 - 8:10 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Dec 8 (IANS) Former chief justice of India K.G. Balakrishnan Wednesday said he received a brief note from the then Madras High Court chief justice S.N. Gokhale on Justice R. Reghupathy’s contention that a union minister tried to influence him, but the minister’s name was not mentioned.
Balakrishnan said he got no direct letter from Justice Reghupathy.
“The allegation is that on July 2 Justice Reghupathy wrote a letter to the then Madras (High Court chief justice) CJ S.N. Gokhale…(who) gave one brief report to me,” Balakrishnan, now the National Human Rights Commission chairperson, told reporters here.
He said that the one-page note of the then chief justice Gokhale did not mention any name of the union minister who was allegedly trying to influence Justice Reghupathy.
“The letter may be available in the office of the present chief justice of India,” Balakrishnan said.
The high court Tuesday ordered the suspension of Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry Bar Council chairman Chandramohan on charges of trying to influence a judge in a case.
Last year, Justice Reghupathy declared in open court that a central minister had tried to influence him to grant bail to two men, being investigated by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
The judge said Chandramohan handed over his mobile telephone to him, saying a central minister wanted to talk to him. The judge said he declined to speak to any minister about the bail sought by the two accused.
In a statement, Balakrishnan said: “When this incident was reported in the media, I sought a report from the then chief justice of Madras High Court, Justice Gokhale, and he sent me a report wherein nothing was mentioned about any union minister having made a telephonic talk with Justice Reghupathy to influence him.”
“Therefore, there was no occasion for me to talk to prime minister or to take any further action. Moreover, if anything like that happened which amounted to interference in the judicial function of Justice Reghupathy, he himself could have exercised his powers of contempt of court, for which no permission is required from the chief justice of India,” he added.
Balakrishnan said that “it appears” that Justice Reghupathy made a statement that he reported the matter to the chief justice of the high court and not the chief justice of India.
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