HomePoliticsCorruptionBribery Charge on Ishrat Masroor Quddusi: Is India Losing Faith in its Judiciary?

Bribery Charge on Ishrat Masroor Quddusi: Is India Losing Faith in its Judiciary?


“The subject of judicial corruption is taboo, and like the proverbial Chinese monkeys, one shall not see, hear or speak of this evil,” KK Venugopal, the attorney general of India, told an  India Today reporter in 1990.

It is well known that the rampant corruption in India adversely affects the credibility of its government and other institutions. However, discussions of a corrupt judiciary have been cropping up since the past few years, an ugly discourse to face.

What Happened?

The recent allegations against retired Allahabad High Court Judge, IM Quddusi began in September 2017 when the CBI filed an FIR against him,  regarding a medical college in Lucknow that reportedly paid bribes to judges to reverse its blacklisting by the government. A five-judge bench, led by Dipak Misra, the Chief Justice of India (CJI), heard a petition filed by the Campaign for Judicial Accountability and Reforms.

This case, as well as an offshoot of it, were both assigned to different judges’ benches than was initially decided upon, leading to a request of recusal of the CJI by counsel for the petitioners, Prashant Bhushan.   

The request was not complied with. Instead, the court consistently ignored Bhushan’s requests that they listen to the arguments of the petitioners. The verdict was declared without Bhushan’s contribution and concerned few matters actually relevant to the question at hand. It focused, instead, upon the CJI and his administrative powers.


It is astonishing that the very body of people that is supposed to implement our laws is breaking them left, right and centre. Allegations against a judge of a lower court would still be tolerable to a certain extent. But the fact that there is reasonable doubt on a retired High Court judge is absolutely unacceptable. It casts doubt on his entire career in the lower courts as well as his term in the High Court, apart from all his activities conducted post-retirement. The public tends to blindly trust all cogs of the judiciary because their work demands respect. But with actions like these, how can we?

Not only that, but the activities of the CJI are also questionable at this point, adding fuel to the fire.

Before his appointment as well, The Wire cast aspersions on whether he was qualified enough to be Chief Justice of India merely because of his age, considering a major moral flaw he possessed.

A possible solution to prevent the recurrence of this event could be making judges of a court mutually responsible for the actions of each other. This would ensure that each of them upholds the ideals of the judiciary.


The case is explosive because of its allegations of corruption among the top rung of the judiciary.  It has created a national debate about the fairness and transparency of judges.

The verdict was as follows:

  1. The CJI is the master of the roster.
  2. Any order that contravenes the administrative power of the CJI, like the one passed by Chelameswar the previous day, was null and void.
  3. Thirdly, Misra said after a consultation with Arun Mishra on the bench and almost as an afterthought, both the CJAR and the Jaiswal petition would be heard in two weeks, by a new bench—constituted by the CJI.
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