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Justice Katju Shows Flaws In Judges Appointment System: Harish Salve


Justice Katju Shows Flaws In Judges Appointment System: Harish Salve

Vellalapatti Swaminathan Iyer
Eminent Jurist Harish Salve is a staunch critic of the Collegium system of appointment of Judges. Justice Katju’s recent controversial comments on Katrina “Sheila Ki Jawani” Kaif and Shazia “More beautiful than Kiran Bedi” Ilmi have raised Harish Salve’s hackles and he cites it as an example of the ills of the present system

On an earlier occasion, when Justice Markandey Katju made sensational revelations about the appointment of an alleged corrupt judge by Chief Justice Lahoti at the alleged behest of the PMO, Harish Salve wrote an article in India Today in which he caustically observed:

Justice Markandey Katju was always “different”. Sobriety and discretion were as alien to him as vegetarianism to a leopard. Blogger Katju continues in the same vein. This time, he has created seismic reverberations in our hallowed community of black robes.

Justice Katju has lived up to his reputation. On 13th January 2015, he wrote a piece on his blog suggesting that Katrina Kaif, the popular Bollywood actress, should be made the next President of India “but on the condition that she sings ‘Sheela ki Jawaani’ on her Inaugural!

The piece appears to have been written as a satirical joke that as the politicians do nothing in any case, it is better to elect a beautiful face to a political post.

However, given that the comment came from a person who held such a distinguished position, Justice Katju was severely attacked by all luminaries in the media for making “extremely derogatory” and “sexist” remarks. Some called the learned judge “mentally deranged”.

However, Justice Katju was not cowed down by the criticism. He launched a spirited counter attack in which he called the attackers “donkeys” and “barking (dogs)”. “If a donkey kicks you, do you kick it back?” he asked rhetorically, quoting Mirza Ghalib.

Later, as if to add fuel to fire, Justice Katju tweeted:

I regard Shazia Ilmi much more beautiful than Kiran Bedi. If Shazia had been made their C.M. candidate BJP wud have definitely won the Delhi … People vote for beautiful faces, as in Croatia. Even a person like me who does not vote wud have voted for Shazia”.

Sonia Singh of NDTV was so stunned for words that she could only retort with a “Whaat!!“. When this raised a firestorm of protest with some publications slamming Justice Katju for “ridiculous statements”, Justice Katju again took shelter behind Mirza Ghalib by quotingIshq ne Ghalib nikamma bana diya Varna hum bhi admi the kaam ke“.

Harish Salve appears to have got fed up with Justice Katju’s penchant for making such frivolous statements. He shot off a tweet stating:

Seeing mr@justice katju’s blog on shazia ilmi should close the debate on the need to replace the system for appointment of judges”.

Harish Salve’s criticism of Justice Katju is not unexpected given that he has always maintained thatThe selection of a judge requires finding a person learned in the laws, who has the lifestyle of a near-hermit, the character of a saint, and the humility of a student of law”. At least some of the requirements stipulated by Harish Salve for judgeship such as “lifestyle of a hermit” and “character of a saint” may not be met by Justice Katju

Now, we have to wait for a counter response from Justice Katju to Harish Salve’s comment.

15 comments on “Justice Katju Shows Flaws In Judges Appointment System: Harish Salve
  1. Thakur S Singh says:

    Talking about the then law lords presiding the Hon’ble High Court Allahabad, the same Mr Justice Katju had selectively quoted Shakespeare in Hamlet “………there is something rotten in the kingdom of Denmark …” now we know where this Lordship comes from……..

  2. k.k.gupta says:

    Harish salve is a chartered accountant first and how tough it is to become robes have always taunted the accountants and they followed them meekly because they maintain the dignity of the noble professions.come on let them give vent to their pent up feelings due to holding of such positions they were to perform

  3. Every one is meritorious. so we need to look at positives of people and their contribution irrespective of their callings please ! None can be perfect sir!

    So one needs to appreciate every person’s calibre!

  4. Adv.I. S. Verma says:

    Baate h baato ka kya. Every body knows the merits and demerits of the system for appointment of judges. Why only judges, same is the case with appointments of members of various Tribunals. In any case, if u believe in Hindu philosophy, it is one’s destiny- be it by way of corrupt methods or without.

  5. Legal Luminary Mr Harish Salve ever legally questioned secret and scandalous Collegium system? I doubt.

  6. Ashwani Joshi says:

    If Mr Kaju makes few more such utterances, I am sure , he will ask either for a ‘doctorate ‘ or a “padma” just before next Republic Day.

  7. Rajiv Tyagi says:

    Katju was never fit to be ajudge of any Court in India. Considering his penchant for the beautiful Urdu language, he could perhaps have applied for judgeship in Pakistan or Somalia.

  8. Drparasjain says:

    Old age makes eyes roving !! So pardon both Salve and Katju . As Khushwant Singh once said ” every room is a bedroom for a new couple – and only the hall and the TV Set ( or Internet ) is your bed room when you grow old !!

  9. Kishor Satwick says:

    Did Katju deliver judgments by looking at the beauty of Lady Advocates in the Court!? Or to put it in his own language, the litigant could have got favorable verdict the year engaging a beautiful lady Advocate on the lines of getting votes by fielding beautiful candidate!

  10. Kishor Satwick says:

    Did Katju deliver judgments by looking at the beauty of Lady Advocates in the Court!? Or to put it in his own language, the litigant could have got favorable verdict the year engaging a beautiful lady Advocate on the lines of getting votes by fielding beautiful candidate!

  11. Niraj says:

    In fact, I have heard people say that the cost of being appointed a high Court judge is in Crores. May not apply in all cases but could be true.

    • Dipak J Shah says:

      May be absolutely right. It is said that why Personal Practice is left for ?
      Just to avoid Justice many cases are thrown a way without any hearing a word and more!!! They have reached to Hon. Supreme Court of India after some collection from High Court of Gujarat I have heard so!!!!

  12. Rajeev Kumar says:

    People have very wrong notion about judges.They are not selected thru some tough all India open ,fair and transparent competition conducted by any independent UPSC type body.They were earlier selected by politicians and judges now only judges select them. Minimum qualifications prescribed are 10 years practice as an advocate. As a result they are mediocre at best,third rate lawyers at worst. So to expect “hermit like”saintly” persons to become judges is beyond all human probability.
    Justice Katju is perfectly entitled to his opinions and I like these very much.

  13. Amrut Kale says:

    Age counts. Is it not good to overlook or ignore the tweets of such person instead of making comments ?

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