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The Bench at War: Patna HC’s Dharnidhar J. writes stinging letter about ex-CJ, L Narasimha Reddy

The Bench at War: Patna HC’s Dharnidhar J. writes stinging letter about ex-CJ, L Narasimha Reddy

A month before his retirement, Patna High Court’s Dharnidhar Jha J. has written a controversial letter to the State Bar Council Chairman. And the target of this letter is none other than the High Court’s recently retired Chief Justice, L Narasimha Reddy.

The letter was prompted by an invitation to the farewell party of the former Chief Justice; the High Court judge pulls no punches. Describing the retired judge as behaving like a “Moghal Baadshah”, Justice Jha makes a number of allegations against Justice Reddy. For instance, Jha claims that under the former Chief Justice, a number of sub-divisional courts were set up with insufficient infrastructure.

In fact, as per Jha’s letter, “insufficient” would be an understatement.

“…Primary Health Centres, Kisan Bhavans, Godowns have been used to establish Sub-Divisional courts in almost all sub-divisions where the lavatory of the Primary Health Centre is used as the Chambers for the Presiding Officer of the Court….dingy, inappropriate spaces have been provided to judicial officers which is utter disregard of the recognised norms….”

The allegations continue, ranging from removing the paintings in Court No. 1 without consensus, to usurping the duties of the Pandal and Decoration Committee to celebrate the centenary of the Patna High Court. There is also a fleeting reference to the depth to which sycophancy pervades the judiciary.

Jha also claims that after assuming the post of Chief Justice,

“..administration suffered with steep escalation in corruption all around….Corruption and maladministration has become as rampant.”

Speaking to the Indian Express, Justice Jha said that he wrote the letter for a number of reasons.

“You (the media) don’t write against the judiciary or expose the wrong that is happening as you are afraid of contempt. But there was nothing else I could do. There are so many things that upset me. As Chief Justice, Justice Reddy took many decisions against rules settled by the Supreme Court.”

The same news report also quotes Justice Reddy’s reaction.

“This gentleman (Justice Jha) has a very dubious track record. He was transferred due to serious allegations against him. He managed to return after citing ill health. Until I was there, he never uttered a single word to question my decisions, all of which were taken in full court meetings.”

It is unclear as to whether either of the judges involved will pursue this matter any further.

Read the complete letter below.

The post The Bench at War: Patna HC’s Dharnidhar J. writes stinging letter about ex-CJ, L Narasimha Reddy
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