On Thursday, an 11-judge bench of the Patna High Court suspended an order by fellow judge Justice Rakesh Kumar who, while ruling on an anticipatory bail matter, alleged corruption & nepotism in the judiciary.
Justice Kumar’s order, the bench said, is “to shake the confidence of the public in the judiciary & to lower its esteem to levels that may amount contemptuous”.
Ruling Wednesday on an anticipatory bail petition of a retired officer accused of siphoning government funds, Justice Kumar said he would not remain “a mute spectator” & wanted his order sent via registered post to the Supreme Court, Prime Minister’s Office & the Law Ministry.
Justice Kumar, 60, was appointed as an Additional Judge of the Patna High Court on December 25, 2009 & took oath as Permanent Judge on October 24, 2011. According to the High Court website, he had practised in the Patna High Court for about 26 years on the criminal & constitutional side & “defended the cases of CBI in the capacity of standing Counsel (CBI) for about 12 years”.
Taking note of Justice Kumar’s order Thursday & constituting a suo motu bench, the 11 judges, in their order, said: “The Court Master also stated that the Hon’ble Judge had summoned the file for perusal a couple of days ago & had studied the same. It is, therefore, evident that the preparation appears to have commenced a couple of days prior to the passing of the order.”