अमिताभ ठाकुर, आईजी सिविल डिफेन्स और सामाजिक कार्यकर्ता डॉ नूतन ठाकुर ने, शुक्रवार को, तारा सहदेव मामले में तमाम न्यायिक अधिकारियों पर लगातार लग रहे गंभीर आरोपों के सम्बन्ध में भारत के मुख्य न्यायाधीश को प्रत्यावेदन भेज कर इस मामले पर स्वतः संज्ञान लेने का निवेदन किया है.
अमिताभ और नूतन ने अपने प्रत्यावेदन में कहा है कि आज तक अक्सर नेताओं और अधिकारियों पर कई प्रकार के गंभीर आरोप लगते रहा करते थे पर संभवतः पहली बार न्यायपालिका के विभिन्न स्तर के अधिकारियों पर इतने गंभीर आरोप सामने आये हैं.
उन्होंने कहा है कि ना सिर्फ तारा बल्कि अभियुक्त रकीबुल उर्फ़ रणजीत कोहली के हवाले से भी बार बार उसके साथ न्यायिक अधिकारियों की संथ-गाँठ होने और उनके माध्यम से कोर्ट के कई गलत कार्य कराये जाने की बातें कही गयी हैं जैसा स्वयं तारा ने उन्हें भी रांची में भेंट के दौरान बताया था.
यह वर्तमान मुख्य न्यायाधीश आर एम लोढ़ा द्वारा 8 अगस्त 2012 को आर सी चंदेल बनाम मध्य प्रदेश हाई कोर्ट (सिविल अपील संख्या 5790/2012) में पारित आदेशों के सर्वथा विपरीत है जिसमे उन्होंने उन्होंने कहा था कि जजों की तुलना अन्य सरकारी लोगों से नहीं की जा सकती और उनसे उच्चतम स्तर की सत्यनिष्ठा और आचरण अपेक्षित है.
अतः अमिताभ और नूतन ने मुख्य न्यायाधीश से इस मामले को स्वतः संज्ञान में ले कर इस सम्बन्ध में अत्यंत गहराई से जांच कराये जाने और समस्त दोषी जजों के खिलाफ कठोरतम कार्यवाही करते हुए न्यायपालिका की मर्यादा की रक्षा करने का अनुरोध किया है.
Letter to the CJI–
The Hon’ble Chief Justice of India,
Hon’ble Supreme Court of India,
Subject- Prayer to kindly take suo-motu cognizance of the various extremely disturbing facts emerging in Tara Sahdeo case from Ranchi, Jharkhand
1. That the petitioner No 1 is an officer of the Indian Police Service and petitioner No 2 is an Advocate by profession. They are also engaged in social activities at their personal level, working particularly in field of transparency and accountability in public life, including judicial accountability.
2. That recently the Tara Sahdeo episode has been making news all over the country where a young National shooting champion Ms Tara Sahdeo from Ranchi, Jharkhand was allegedly married by a swindler Rakibul Hasan @ Ranjit Singh Kohli by cheating where he also allegedly got Ms Sahdeo converted to Islam through force and coercion
3. That a criminal case has also been registered in this matter in Ranchi, Jharkhand and the local police is pursuing the matter at its end
4. That apart from the issue of religious conversion, this case also brought many other extremely related issues of larger public interest, one of them being related with corruption, impropriety in public services and public life
5. That during the course of investigation, the victim Ms Sahdeo, brought forth many startling and revealing facts which stated the manner in which the accused Rakibul @Ranjit cultivated friendship with people in power and used this proximity for subverting the system for illegal and nefarious gains
6. That the names that cropped up during the investigation and otherwise included many ministers, political persons, administrative officers, police officers etc
7. That but the most startling and surprising thing that erupted out in this episode was the alleged judicial corruption involved in this case
8. That the various statements of Ms Sahdeo that came in media again and again clearly stated the fact that as per Ms Sahdeo’s personal knowledge, Rakubul @Ranjit had also cultivated many Hon’ble Judges and Hon’ble Magistrates in Bihar, Jharkhand, UP and Delhi
9. That these statements of Ms Sahdeo were corroborated by the various media reports about judicial impropriety and judicial corruption that came repeatedly in media through various named and unnamed police sources from Ranchi police
10. That again these statements about culpability of judicial officers of various ranks also came from various verified and unverified confession statements of Rakibul @Ranjit given in police custody and otherwise, which was again given wide coverage in the media
11. That the petitioner presents only a few of these newspaper clippings related with allegations of judicial corruption that he could get during his visit to Ranchi- “Rakibul ne Swekara 6 Jajon se tha sampark” (Rakibul accepts having relation with 6 Judges), “Kohli ke flat se Kort file aur computer jabt” (Court file and computer seized from Kohli flat), “Jharkhand, Bihar aur UP ke kai Jajon se dosti” (friendship with many judges from Jharkhand, Bihar and UP), Dilli ke Jajon se jude Kohli ke taar” (Kohli’s connection goes to Delhi Judges), “Judge ko bahal karaya tha” (Had got Judge reinstated), “Rakibul se karai hatyaropi ki pairavi” (Got matter expedited of a murder accused through Rakibul), “Rakibul ke kahne par CBI Jaj ki karaai puja” (Got puja done for CBI Judge on Rakibul’s request), “Ghar me rakhe the 26 register” (26 registers kept in house), “Haan, Jajon se rahe hain mere talluk” (Yes, I have had relations with Judges), “Rakib ke kabule 25 hastiyon se sampark” (Rakib accepts relation with 25 VIPs), “”Kai jajon se Ranjit urf Rakibul ke acche rishte” (Ranjit@Rakibul having good relation with many Judges), “42 Meta, afsar va Jaj se sampark” (relation with 42 politicians, officers and Judges), “Ranchi aye the saat barkhast Jaj” (7 terminated Judges had come to Ranchi), “Jajon Netaon se hain Rishte:Kaushalya” (Have relation with Judges, politicians), “1997 se nyayik adhikariyon ke sampark me aaya Rakibul” (came in contact with judicial officers in 1997) and “CBI Jaj ko darshan karaane ko phone kiya tha Ranjit ne” (Ranjit called for darshan to CBI Judge)
12. That these are only a handful of hundreds of such news articles publishing in Hindi and English newspapers of Jharkhand, some of them even making their way to national media and All-India spread
13. That since the petitioners are working in the field of transparency and accountability in public life including judiciary, this case where names of Hon’ble Judges linked with Rakibul @Ranjit and serving his nefarious wrongdoings was repeatedly coming, the petitioners decided to personally visit Ranchi so as to have a firsthand interaction with Ms Tara Sahdeo so as to gather and garner facts about the matter
14. That the two petitioners reached Ranchi, Jharkhand on 06/09/2014 and had a very long interaction with Ms Sahdeo and her brother Sri Dwed Sahdeo at her residence at Kishorganj Chauk, Harmu bypass, Ranchi.
15. That the petitioner No 1 noted down most of the things being said by Ms Sahdeo in a fast and scribbled manner and got it signed from Ms Sahdeo as a mark of some definite authenticity, a photocopy of which he attaches with this representation.
16. That among more important things she said- “कानून के पास इंसाफ मांगने जाते हैं तो कानून वाले उनके घर पर होते हैं” (One goes to people from Justice but he had these people in his pocket), “मैं नहीं जानती थी कि सीजेएम, डीजे, मिनिस्टर, पुलिस के डीआईजी, डीएसपी जैसे लोग” उनके पास जाते हैं (I previously did not know that people like CJM, DJ, Minister, DIG of Police, DSP etc came to his house). She said- “डीआईजी धमकी देते हैं घर आ कर कि यहाँ से कहीं चली जाएगी.” (DIG threatens me at my residence asking me to go away) . She told that the Vigilance Registrar of Jharkhand High Court, Sri Mushtaq Ahmad was a very good friend of her husband whom she had previously told about her beatings but he asked me to compromise.
17. That the petitioner presents a statement made by one RTI activist Sri Shailesh Singh from Ramgarh, Jharia, Jharkhand on facebook who says-“ इन आरोपों में सबसे गंभीर बात है- “दिल्ली के एक जज, जिनका नाम शायद इक़बाल है” (The most serious matter here is who is the Delhi Judge Iqbal). He further states- “झारखण्ड उच्च न्यायालय के एक जज जो चेन्नई उच्च न्यायालय के मुख्य न्यायधीश रहने के बाद अभी सर्वोच्च न्यायालय के जज हैं, का नाम भी इत्तेफ़ाक़(!) से यही है. ये मूल रूप से झारखण्ड के ही रहने वाले हैं. इसलिए, हो न हो ये वही हैं, जनमानस के मन में ऐसा संदेह पैदा होना स्वाभाविक है. तारा के बयान के बावजूद झारखण्ड के हर अख़बार ने (जान-बूझकर) इस पहलू को अभी तक इग्नोर ही किया है. न्यायिक सेवा के छोटे अधिकारियों का नाम तो अखबार रोज छाप रहे हैं, लेकिन वो इक़बाल शब्द से ही डर रहे हैं. हो सकता है ये वाले इक़बाल कोई और हों, लेकिन सर्वोच्च न्यायपालिका की स्वच्छता और पारदर्शिता के लिए ये साफ़ होना जरूरी है, कि ये वाले इक़बाल आखिर कहाँ के जज हैं!” (One Jharkhand High Court Judge who went to Supreme Court after working as Chief Justice of Chennai High Court coincidentally carries the same name. He originally belongs to Jharkhand. Hence there could be possibility of his being the same. But despite Tara’s statements no Jharkhand newspaper has published his name and this fact has so far been ignored. They are publishing names of lower judicial officers every day but possibly fear the name Iqbal. It is quite possible this might be a different person but for transparency and respect of Higher judiciary, it needs to be clarified who exactly this Iqbal is).
18. That what is worse is that today the flames of this illegal connections reached the Hon’ble Supreme Court itself where the Hindustan, Ranchi edition published an article “CID, IB aur Vishesh Shakha ki team ne ki Ranjit se poochtach, Khli ne sweekara: Supreme Court se Jamanat ka lete tha theka” (CIB, IB and Special branch interrogate Ranjit who admitted:used to take contract for bail in Supreme Court). The articles says that Ranjit has even taken names of Hon’ble Supreme Court Judges though the police has not recorded it per se but he has definitely claimed to be working as a conduit/middleman for getting bails from Hon’ble Supreme Court.
19. That to the petitioners the names are not important as the phenomenon in its entirety, which seems to show some deep-rooted malaise in the judicial structure as well
20. That while such talks have been reverberating in public conversations for last many years but Tara Sahdeo case has brought the alleged widespread corruption in judiciary to public light for the first time
21. That even the petitioners have been hearing of such talks of corruption at various levels including the Higher Judiciary
22. That the petitioner No 2 had raised some of these points in Writ Petition No. 735 (MB) of 2014 (PIL) (Asok Pande and another vs. Allahabad High Court through the Registrar General) before the Hon’ble Allahabad High Court, Lucknow bench where among other things they had prayed for formation of a Grievance redressal mechanism for complaints of corruption, impropriety and misbehaviour against the members of subordinate judiciary and the Hon’ble High Court quoting among others the statement of eminent jurist and ex Law Minister Sri Shanti Bhushan in September 2010 quoted in a Times of India article “Eight chief justices were corrupt: Ex-law minister” and the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India judgement dated 26/10/2010 in Civil Appellate Jurisdiction in Special Leave Petition(Civil) NO. 31797 of 2010 Raza Khan versus UP Sunni Central Waqf Board & another which said- “”Something is rotten in the State of Denmark”, said Shakespeare in Hamlet, and it can similarly be said that something is rotten in the Allahabad High Court, as this case illustrates” and “The Allahabad High Court really needs some house cleaning (both Allahabad and Lucknow Bench
23. That at the Hon’ble Allahabad High Court had said in its order-“As pointed out by the learned counsel appearing for the sole respondent, the petitioner apart from levelling unsubstantiated charges and allegations against the subordinate judiciary, has also made certain allegations which are completely uncalled for. The petitioners in paragraph 31 of the writ petition state as under: “(31) That the petitioners also hear that money changes hands in corrupt manner in the lower courts to an extent that can be called horrible and shameless- completely disgusting. Most of the advocates say these words and many of the petitioners’ friends have given specific examples in this regards which they don’t find appropriate to mention here because it is a subject-matter of other specific complaints.” We have reservations regarding the averments made in paragraphs 32, 33 and 34 of the writ petition which have been quoted herein above since these averments are completely unwarranted as they are couched in a language which has a tendency of not only lowering down the majesty of this Court and the entire judicial system but the contents thereof also appear to be casting unsubstantiated aspersions and insinuations against this Court.
In paragraph 33 of the writ petition, the petitioners state that ‘they were individually subjected to misbehaviour of some of the judges of this Hon’ble Court’.
24. That thus at that time, the prayers for Grievance Redressal Mechanism for complaints of misconduct, impropriety, corruption etc was not granted
25. That to us it seems to be in exact juxtaposition to what the Hon’ble Supreme Court through a bench headed by Lordship had said in R.C. Chandel vs High Court Of M.P. & Anr Civil Appeal No. 5790 of 2012 (Arising out of SLP(C) No. 1884 of 2007)-“ 37. Judicial service is not an ordinary government service and the Judges are not employees as such. Judges hold the public office; their function is one of the essential functions of the State. In discharge of their functions and duties, the Judges represent the State. The office that a Judge holds is an office of public trust. A Judge must be a person of impeccable integrity and unimpeachable independence. He must be honest to the core with high moral values. When a litigant enters the courtroom, he must feel secured that the Judge before whom his matter has come, would deliver justice impartially and uninfluenced by any consideration. The standard of conduct expected of a Judge is much higher than an ordinary man. This is no excuse that since the standards in the society have fallen, the Judges who are drawn from the society cannot be expected to have high standards and ethical firmness required of a Judge. A Judge, like Caesar’s wife, must be above suspicion. The credibility of the judicial system is dependent upon the Judges who man it. For a democracy to thrive and rule of law to survive, justice system and the judicial process have to be strong and every Judge must discharge his judicial functions with integrity, impartiality and intellectual honesty.”
26. That but unfortunately the recent set of events following Tara sahdeo episode, as explained in details in this representations through the various news articles attached here, the various public comments being made as that of Sri Shailesh Kumar from Ramgarh and Ms Sahdeo’s own statements made to the petitioners in Ranchi seem to be completely violating the extremely high rules of propriety stated and enunciated by Your Lordship in R.C. Chandel (supra) which wants that “A Judge must be a person of impeccable integrity and unimpeachable independence. He must be honest to the core with high moral values” while here whatever the various newspapers are saying, whatever the common people are saying and whatever Ms Tara herself said to the petitioners stands in direct contrast to the intentions of R C Chandel (supra)
27. That Your Lordship say that “This is no excuse that since the standards in the society have fallen, the Judges who are drawn from the society cannot be expected to have high standards and ethical firmness required of a Judge. A Judge, like Caesar’s wife, must be above suspicion. The credibility of the judicial system is dependent upon the Judges who man it” but here is a situation where the names of Hon’ble Judges and Magistrates is being openly taken for having improper, possibly illegal and inappropriate relations with a man who is charged with such serious offences as cheating a lady for marriage and attempting to forcibly convert her religion.
28. That again in this particular case, possibly for the first time in the petitioners’ knowledge the members of judiciary have come under so much bad light in open as regards alleged corrupt practices of facilitating bails of murderers and accused, granting all kinds of improper favours in judicial work and possibly taking money or other such disgusting gains in return
29. That in nutshell this case is a serious challenge to the Indian Judicial system where a most prompt and strong reaction seems to be required
30. That the petitioners once again say that they have no personal malice to any of these Hon’ble Judges being named or rumoured. They also wish that all of them come out clean in this case. If these charges actually prove to be incorrect and the Hon’ble Judges come out unblemished, the petitioners would be the most happy person in this world because as Your Lordship said in RC Chandel (supra)- “For a democracy to thrive and rule of law to survive, justice system and the judicial process have to be strong and every Judge must discharge his judicial functions with integrity, impartiality and intellectual honesty” because “The credibility of the judicial system is dependent upon the Judges who man it”
31. That it is being generally said that the case will soon get transferred to CBI but the question that remains to be understood is-“would the CBI as an agency be effective enough when it comes to dealing with the alleged corruption of Hon’ble Judges, who as per the preliminary reports being be belonging to all levels- the subordinate judiciary, possibly the Hon’ble High Courts and as today’s Hindustan daily newspaper says even to the highest echelon of justice in this Nation, the Hon’ble Supreme Court?”
32. That a first-hand understanding of things says that in the given circumstances, even the CBI might find it very difficult to take forward the case to its logical conclusion because here it is not the usual politico-administrative nexus that this nation is so used to witness every now and then, but it is a Judicial officer nexus that not only makes this case very different, it makes it equally difficult to deal with as well
33. That again there are two aspects of the matter- one is as regards any criminal complicity of the named Hon’ble Judges in the offence for which Rakibul is being tried. The other and possibly the much more serious matter is that of the other unrelated acts of corrupt, impropriety, misconduct, criminal misconduct, illegality, improper behavior unbecoming of a Judge etc
34. That all these acts may not be exactly related with the Tara Sahdeo episode and hence might not come in the investigation process per se. But nevertheless they are no less important to Tara case and their public relevance and public importance is having much larger realm and repercussions than Tara’s case
35. That here again these improprieties and misconduct might be of two kinds- (a) criminal (b) administrative
36. That Your Lordship would certainly agree that even the administrative impropriety generating out of this case as its by-product would be no less important than the criminal misconduct
37. That summing it up, the petitioners pray that they have seen this Hon’ble Court taking cognizance of many matter on its own (suo-motu) after having come to know of it. To the petitioners it seems that there could not have been a more fit case than this to take cognizance suo-motu by the Hon’ble Supreme Court
38. That hence the petitioners pray in the interest of justice, before Your Lordships, to kindly take cognizance of this case and the facts merging here, as presented in this representation or otherwise, suo-motu as a Public Interest Litigation, for the reasons so obvious in the above Para
39. That the petitioners also pray that in case they feel any of the technicalities or formalities come in the way of taking this matter as a PIL suo-motu, at least a high level enquiry committee consisting of some senior Hon’ble Judges and certain other men of impeccable integrity in public and social life shall definitely be formed to conduct enquiry in this entire matter, especially as regards the alleged judicial misconduct and improprieties as represented here or otherwise
40. That the petitioners end their representation by praying that this seems to be an imminent need of the hour in the larger public interest and in the interest of dignity, honour, respect and lawful authority of judiciary, definitely the most important pillar of democracy in this Nation.
(Dr Nutan Thakur) (Amitabh Thakur)
5/426, Viram Khand,
Gomti Nagar, Lucknow
Copy for kind perusal and necessary action to-
1. The Hon’ble President of India
2. The Hon’ble Prime Minister of India
3. The Hon’ble Law Minister, Govt of India