A day after criticising the “corruption” allegedly rampant in the judiciary, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on August 31 clarified his remarks and said whatever he had stated was “not my personal opinion”. Mr. Gehlot said several retired Supreme Court judges and even the retired Chief Justices had commented on corruption in judiciary and expressed concern over it.
On Wednesday, Mr. Gehlot had told reporters in Jaipur that it had come to his knowledge that lawyers wrote judgments, took them to the judges, who then pronounced them without any alteration. He also said the situation was very serious in both the lower and higher judiciary.
Mr. Gehlot said in a post on X (formerly Twitter) on Thursday that he had always respected and had full faith in judiciary. “I have so much faith in the judiciary that I never made any adverse comments on the names sent by the High Court Collegium for appointment of judges to me in my capacity as the Chief Minister,” he said.
The Chief Minister said he clearly believed that ever citizen should respect and have faith in judiciary. This would strengthen democracy, he added.
Mr. Gehlot’s clarification came in the wake of a strong reaction to his remarks by lawyers in Rajasthan. The Bar Association in Jodhpur called for a day’s token strike at the Rajasthan High Court’s principal seat and in the lower courts on Friday.
A lawyer, Shiv Charan Gupta, on Thursday filed a public interest litigation (PIL) petition in the Jaipur Bench of the Rajasthan High Court, seeking initiation of suo motu contempt proceedings against Mr. Gehlot for his remarks, which had “scandalised and lowered the image of judiciary”. The petition sought cognisance of Mr. Gehlot’s statement under Article 215 of the Constitution.