General Criticism Of Corruption In Judiciary Can Be A Ground For Taking Action For Contempt: SC
By Team Legistify / 2017-03-05

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The Supreme Court bench comprising the Chief Justice of India, Justice J.S.Khehar, and justices Dr.D.Y.Chandrachud and Sanjay Kishan Kaul, held in a recent judgment that even if allegations of corruption were not aimed at any particular Court, the Contempt of Courts Act could be invoked, if the alleged contemptuous action is aimed at more than one court, or a large number of courts, all at once.

The issue before the Court was whether the Judicial Magistrate, Ist Class, Kangan, Jammu and Kashmir, was correct first in issuing notice and later seeking arrest for non-appearance of alleged contemners, in 2006, for publishing the results of India Corruption Survey of 2005 conducted by Centre for Media Studies (CMS) in collaboration with Transparency International, India.

Although the survey was conducted independently, with reference to each State, its results for Jammu and Kashmir, made a specific reference to the inference that 92 per cent of the lower judiciary in the State was perceived to be corrupt.   Another finding of the survey was that 2,23,267 cases of actual bribe giving were disclosed, with reference to the lower judiciary, in the State.

The Court of Judicial Magistrate, Ist Class, Kangan, Jammu and Kashmir, on May 4, 2006, initiated action against five individuals/parties including CMS, and Transparency International, and the editor, printer and publisher of Greater Kashmir, which published the results of the survey.

Responding to the notice, both CMS and Transparency International stated that there was never any intention at all on their part to scandalize or lower the authority of the judiciary much less interfere with the due course of justice or obstruct the administration of justice in any manner, as alleged.

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