Smt Pratibha Patil,
The Hon’ble President of India,
Union of India,
Subject: Demand for a High level enquiry in Shanti Bhushan accusations.
As we have all come to know through various media, Sri Shanti Bhushan, the ex Law Minister in the Union Cabinet and one of the most prominent lawyers of the country, is said to have submitted a list of corrupt chief justices (CJI) of the Supreme Court before one of the court’s benches. Here he has supposedly given a list of 16 Chief Justices in a sealed cover and has said that eight CJIs were ‘definitely corrupt’ and six were ‘definitely honest’ while definite opinion cannot be made against other two.
This is the greatest accusation made against judiciary so far. It becomes all the more important because it has been made by an eminent lawyer who had himself been a Law minister of this country. More importantly those accused are none but the ex Chief Justices of India.
This has now been followed by further producing of evidence by Sri Shanti Bhushan’s son and himself a leading lawyer, Sri Prashant Bhushan in the Supreme Court. Nothing could have been more damaging to the Indian Judiciary. And frightening also because such accusations if true are of truly dangerous connotations.
In the light of the above we feel that it would neither be feasible nor appropriate for the Supreme Court to singularly look into the matter because firstly it would be difficult for the Supreme Court Judges to enquire into the conduct of so many of their own senior members of Supreme Court and secondly there would always be possibility of the feeling of brotherhood cropping up. Equally important are the need for adherence to the Principles of Natural Justice that say:
1. nemo iudex in causa sua: “no man is permitted to be judge in his own cause” and
2. audi alteram partem: “Proceedings should be conducted so they are fair to all the parties”
What these two principles lead to is the third one which is highly important inall such cases of great sensitivity”: ‘Justice should not only be done, it should also be seen to be done.’
Here everyone feels that a proper, independent and truthful enquiry into the allegations made by Sri Shanti Bhushan and his son Sri Prashant Bhushan is possible only when form an enquiry committe consisting of the Chief Justice of Supreme Court, a senior Union Minister, the Leader of opposition and two eminent and universally respected social activists like Sri Anna Hazare and Ms Medha Patekar is formed to enquire into the matter. Again there shall be a specific time frame of a period of six months for this enquiry to get completed. This is very important because if the matter is ignored it will have a permanent negative impact over the image of judiciary all over the country and the loss will be irreparable.
We, on behalf of the Federation for People’s Rights (FPR), Puducherry request this matter to be given the highest priority and immediate action to be taken at your end. Any attempt to put the matter under carpet will be dangerous. If what Sri Shanti Bhushan has said proves to be wrong, let him be given the harshest punishment under the Contempt of Courts Act. But let the matter be taken up immediately so as to take it to its logical end, because this is a crisis situation not only for Indian Judiciary but also for the entire National faith because Judiciary is the pillar on which all our hopes and expectations finally lie and if that itself is shaken, then what is left for us to look at?
Federation for People’s Rights (FPR), Puducherry.
1. Sri Dr. Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India, Govt of India, New Delhi.
2. Smt Sonia Gandhi, Chairperson, United Progressive Alliance, New Delhi.