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Debate: #SecretPMONote out - 1
After former SC judge Markandey Katju alleged that three ex-Chief Justices of India had allowed a judge under corruption cloud to continue in office, TIMES NOW unearths sensational secret PMO note on the controversial appointment. TIMES NOW accesses former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's secret note to then Law Minister HR Bhardwaj on 'tainted' judge's promotion. The secret note reveals that Manmohan Singh had personally intervened on the issue of 'tainted' judge. Manmohan Singh in the secret PMO note demanded an explanation as to why the 'tainted' judge was not recommended. This is a never seen before, never acknowledged before note that nails the former PM's complicity.Former PM Manmohan Singh refused to comment on the claim by Katju that three ex-CJIs made "improper compromises" during UPA rule in retaining a judge in TN under corruption cloud. When contacted for a reaction, Singh said he has nothing to say as former Law Minister H R Bhardwaj has already clarified the issue. Bharadwaj earlier insisted that no "undue favours" were given to the judge because proper procedure was followed. "So far as political threats to a coalition government is concerned there were always pressure(from allies) onappointment of judges which I never yielded," he said. Former SC judge Markandey Katju yesterday (July 21) created a furore alleging that three ex-Chief Justices of India -- Justice Lahoti, Justices Y K Sabharwal and K G Balakrishnanhad -- made "improper compromises" and "succumbed" to political pressure in the extension of an unnamed additional judge of Madras High Court at the instance of UPA-I government owing to pressure from an ally, a "Tamil Nadu party", apparently DMK, and his confirmation as permanent judge. Katju said when he was heading the Madras High Court he got many reports that the additional judge concerned was allegedly indulging in corruption prompting him to request the then CJI Justice Lahoti to get a secret IB inquiry made. He claimed that the IB report found the allegations to be true and said the judge should have been sacked.As Katju, who is now Chairman of the Press Council of India, stood firm on his allegation, AIADMK members protested in Parliament for the second straight day and demanded that the DMK minister who was behind the move to retain the judge during the UPA rule be named. Justice Lahoti is quoted as having said that he has never done anything wrong in his life and that everything is a matter of record while Justice Balakrishnan rejected the allegation against him as "completely baseless and not factually correct". DMK slammed Katju for his allegation, calling it "wild and baseless". In a debate moderated by TIMES NOW's Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami, panelists -- Justice Markandey Katju, Chairman, Press Council of India & Former Judge, SC; Ram Jethmalani, Sr. Advocate, Supreme Court; Soli Sorabjee, Former Attorney General -- discuss whether with the #SecretPMONote expose, Justice Katju has been proven right.
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