‘Strengthen vigilance wing in the judiciary’

Prevailing system is insufficient: Justice S.M. Subramaniam

Justice S.M. Subramaniam of the Madras High Court (Madurai Bench) has called upon the judiciary to strengthen its vigilance wing to crush corrupt practices.

Building citizens’ confidence in the judiciary is the constitutional mandate, he said and added, “Doubts in the minds of the citizens will lead to destruction of the constitutional principles. Undoubtedly, the judiciary has to strengthen its vigilance wing and the prevailing vigilance system in the judiciary is insufficient to crush corrupt practices,” the judge said during the course of hearing in a case.

“Corruption is the devil in society,” he said referring to corrupt practices in the administration of government departments but added, “This court has to endorse the fact that the judiciary is also not exempt from corrupt practices.”

Justice Subramaniam observed that the conscience of the court would not permit if it fails to mention the increasing corrupt practices in the judiciary as well as on the court premises. Justice requires equal treatment of all the citizens and consistency in the justice delivery system.

Further, the judge pointed out that many former Chief Justices of India had lamented that the judiciary was not exempt from corrupt practices. Unfortunately, efficient measures were yet to be taken to deal with many kinds of corrupt practices in the judicial system, the judge strongly observed in his order.

With regard to corruption in government departments, the judge said it was painful to note that even for the implementation of beneficial schemes and government orders, corrupt practices were involved, in some cases involving higher officials. Awareness on the issue needs to be created, he added.

The Department of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption needs to be strengthened to a greater extent to ensure periodical surprise inspections and raids to deal with corrupt practices in public services, the judge said. He hoped that the observations would be taken in the right manner to develop an effective and efficient system.

The court was hearing a petition filed by N. Ulagaraj from Tirunelveli, an office assistant in the Registration Department. He challenged the punishment of compulsory retirement awarded to him on the charge of receiving bribe with regard to registration of sale deeds. The court said that the petition was devoid of merit and dismissed it.

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