Shocking: Chief Justice Offered Bribe for Favourable Ruling!
Bengaluru: The bench, the bar and the gathering in the state high court on Tuesday were stunned into absolute silence as they heard the chief justice making a revelation during a hearing that he had been offered bribe earlier this week in consideration for a favourable judgement.
He also announced that he was recusing himself from the case and instructed the registrar to pass the case on to another bench.
It was when a revision petition filed by Umrah Developers against the department of revenue and the deputy commissioner of the Bengaluru urban district was being heard.
Justice Subhro Kumar Mukherjee, who had taken over as the CJ in February this year, presided over a division bench along with Justice Ravi Malimath.
As the petition came up and senior advocate Padmanabha V Mahale, the counsel for the petitioner got ready to put forth his argument, the CJ interrupted him and asked his personal assistant to bring a business card from his chamber.
When the card reached his hands, the CJ revealed that the person whose name the card bore had come to his residence on Monday.
Speaking in Bengali, the man requested Justice Mukherjee that the case bearing serial number 34 be disposed of in his favour and also offered a big monetary reward for it. Justice Malimath who sat next to him appeared shocked.
Advocate Mahale responded by declaring that the person who had made the offer had connection neither with him nor with his juniors. The CJ instructed that a copy of the card be made available to advocate Mahale.
Justice Mukherjee said that his house was always open to the public but not for things of this kind. He added that he was recusing himself from the case. It is expected to be transferred to another bench.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, a few senior advocates too expressed shock over the episode. One of them said that the CJ should have called the police and got the man arrested.
One of them said that there could be different angles to the issue like the name on the card could be a fake and it might be an effort to prejudice the case against the petitioner.
Another said that the CJ should have immediately called for a thorough inquiry into the incident, which only could bring out the whole background.