PATNA/NEW DELHI: A day after a senior judge remarked in a verdict that corruption in the Patna High Court was an open secret, a 11-member bench led by Chief Justice A P Sahi on Thursday stayed the order and also withdrew all judicial work from him.
Justice Rakesh Kumar, in his 20-page order on Wednesday, had urged the CJI and SC collegium to take cognisance of “corrupt practices plaguing the judicial system at all levels in Bihar”. The order was passed while hearing the bail plea of retired IAS officer K P Ramaiah, who is accused of graft.
The HC, as well as the SC, had earlier rejected his request for protection from arrest due to the serious allegations against him. Ramaiah later had to surrender before a lower court and was granted bail the same day. Justice Kumar questioned the manner in which the bail was given and added that instances of corruption were common even in the Patna HC. He cited many examples, including the mild punishments given to four judicial officers who had many serious complaints against them.
Accusing the HC judges of nepotism as well, Justice Kumar in his order had said, “After my elevation as judge, I started to notice that senior judges were buttering the Chief Justice ... to get their favourites or those belonging to their caste elevated as a judge or to do some favour to corrupt judicial officers. It is also an open fact that wards of judges are practising in the Patna HC.”
Upright, he cut his teeth in fodder scam cases
Justice Rakesh Kumar has a reputation of being an upright judge. He served as a standing counsel for CBI for 12 years and handled the big-ticket fodder scam cases, before being appointed as a HC judge in 2009. Lawyers of Patna HC, on condition of anonymity, said he was appointed based on his long experience in