For a clean judiciary: THE HINDU EDITORIAL

For a Clean Judiciary: THE HINDU EDITORIAL

For a Clean Judiciary: THE HINDU EDITORIAL

With an in-house committee concluding that a judge of the Allahabad High Court had committed judicial impropriety serious enough to warrant his removal, the subject of corruption in the higher judiciary is in the news. Justice Shri Narayan Shukla had come under adverse notice before a Supreme Court Bench headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra last year. The Bench had found he had violated a restraining order from the apex court by allowing the GCRG Memorial Trust, Lucknow, to admit students. The Supreme Court observed that the Bench headed by Justice Shukla had violated judicial propriety. The CJI formed a three-member committee, comprising Chief Justices Indira Banerjee of the Madras High Court and S.K. Agnihotri of the Sikkim High Court and Justice P.K. Jaiswal of the Madhya Pradesh High Court, to examine his conduct. The committee has now found substance in the allegations and that the judge had deviated from the “values of judicial life”. It is unfortunate that Justice Shukla has not tendered his resignation or sought retirement, the options available to him to avoid the ignominy of impeachment in Parliament. His position has paved the way for the CJI to recommend his removal. The allegations against him appear to correspond to the claims in a first information report registered by the CBI against another medical college trust and alleged middlemen, including a retired judge of the Orissa High Court, that there was a plot to influence public servants to obtain favourable orders. The allegation had set off a storm in the judiciary, as some orders related to medical colleges in Uttar Pradesh were also passed by Supreme Court Benches headed by Chief Justice Misra himself. The climactic event was the unprecedented press conference at which four senior-most judges alleged the CJI had departed from convention while using his power to draw up the roster. It is important for the institution that the charges against Justice Shukla are properly investigated. It may have a sobering effect on those who desire that the institution be cleansed as well as those who feel there is an unwarranted onslaught on it. The process of removing a judge is too elaborate and somewhat cumbersome. However, an in-house finding may help hasten it in flagrant cases. The possibility of getting a motion passed in Parliament is brighter, and the charge of the process being misused for partisan ends is reduced. The removal of a serving judge is undoubtedly a sad development, but one that the institution should not fight shy of in appropriate cases. That internal mechanisms work with due regard for institutional integrity is something that should be welcomed.


1) Impropriety
Meaning: Failure to observe standards of honesty or modesty; improper behaviour or character.
Example: “she was scandalized at the impropriety of the question”
Synonyms: Wrongdoing, Dishonesty
Antonyms: Propriety
2) Adverse
Meaning: Preventing success or development; harmful; unfavourable.
Example: “taxes are having an adverse effect on production”
Synonyms: Unfavourable, Untimely
Antonyms: Positive, Favourable
3) Restraining
Meaning: Prevent (someone or something) from doing something; keep under control or within limits.
Example: “the need to restrain public expenditure”
Synonyms: Prevent, Stop
Antonyms: Force, Compel
4) Violated
Meaning: Fail to respect (someone’s peace, privacy, or rights).
Example: “they denied that human rights were being violated”
Synonyms: Invade, Disturb
5) Comprising
Meaning: Consist of; be made up of; make up or constitute (a whole).
Example: “this single breed comprises 50 per cent of the Swiss cattle population”
Synonyms: Constitute, Compose
6) Deviated
Meaning: Depart from an established course.
Example: “you must not deviate from the agreed route”
Synonyms: Diverge, Digress
7) Tendered
Meaning: Offer or present (something) formally.
Example: “he tendered his resignation as leader”
Synonyms: Offer, Present
8) Ignominy
Meaning: Public shame or disgrace.
Example: “the ignominy of being imprisoned”
Synonyms: Shame, Embarrassment
Antonyms: Honour
9) Impeachment
Meaning: A charge of treason or another crime against the state.
Example: “the king cynically abandoned him, encouraging his impeachment”
10) Paved
Meaning: Cover (a piece of ground) with flat stones or bricks; lay paving over.
Example: “the yard at the front was paved with flagstones”
Synonyms: Cover, Finish
11) Set off
Meaning: To start on a trip.
Example: What time do we set off tomorrow?
12) Storm
Meaning: A tumultuous reaction; an uproar or controversy.
Example: “the book caused a storm in America”
Synonyms: Uproar, Commotion
13) Climactic
Meaning: Acting as a culmination or resolution to a series of events; forming an exciting climax.
Example: “the film’s climactic scenes”
Synonyms: Final, Ending
Antonyms: Anticlimactic, Bathetic
14) Unprecedented
Meaning: Never done or known before.
Example: “the government took the unprecedented step of releasing confidential correspondence”
Synonyms: Unmatched, Unrivalled
Antonyms: Normal, Common
15) Convention
Meaning: Behaviour that is considered acceptable or polite to most members of a society.
Example: “he was an upholder of convention and correct form”
Synonyms: Custom, Usage
16) Roster
Meaning: A list or plan showing turns of duty or leave for individuals or groups in an organization.
Example: “next week’s duty roster”
Synonyms: List, Register
17) Sobering
Meaning: Make or become more serious, sensible, and solemn.
Example: “his expression sobered her”
Synonyms: Relax, Soften
18) Cleansed
Meaning: Rid of something unpleasant or defiling.
Example: “the mission to cleanse America of subversives”
Synonyms: Rid, Clear
19) Onslaught
Meaning: A fierce or destructive attack.
Example: “a series of onslaughts on the citadel”
Synonyms: Assault, Attack
20) Cumbersome
Meaning: Large or heavy and therefore difficult to carry or use; unwieldy.
Example: “cumbersome diving suits”
Synonyms: Unwieldy, Clumsy
Antonyms: Manageable, Convenient
21) Hasten
Meaning: Move or travel hurriedly.
Example: “we hastened back to Paris”
Synonyms: Hurry, Hurtle
Antonyms: Dawdle
22) Flagrant
Meaning: (of an action considered wrong or immoral) conspicuously or obviously offensive.
Example: “a flagrant violation of the law”
Synonyms: Blatant, Glaring
Antonyms: Unobtrusive, Slight
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