“Judiciary is not corrupt, judges are corrupt”

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Justice V N Khare

Justice V N Khare was the 33rd Chief Justice of India; he was a judge of the Supreme Court of India before he was elevated to the post of Chief Justice. He represented Indira Gandhi, in her famous case against Raj Narain, alleging electoral malpractices and managed to get a stay order from the High Court on the same.

Justice Khare was confronted with the failure of the justice system in the aftermath of the Gujarat violence following the Godhra train burning. When he retired he said, "I found there was complete collusion between the accused and the prosecution in Gujarat, throwing rule of law to the winds. The Supreme Court had to step in to break the collusion to ensure protection to the victims and the witnesses. I was anguished and pained by the turn of events during the trial of the riot cases but was determined to salvage the criminal justice delivery system." Justice Khare was awarded thePadma Vibhushan in 2006.

In an exclusive and free-wheeling interview to LegalEra Justice Khare talks about the powers best owed upon the chief justice of India and how effectively that can be executed to bring in accountability in the judiciary of the country.

Q: You seemed to have been irked with the recent comment of an additional session’s judge in Delhi on declaring that girls are morally bound not to have sex before marriage.

A: You see, it is a male dominated society. Where there is no respect for women. The comment was so absurd. It is constitutionally wrong, biologically wrong, fundamentally wrong, and emotionally wrong. It is a mindset which people held two centuries back. This is really unfortunate.

Q: You started your practice in the Allahabad High court and then went on to become a judge there. What was your experience like?

A: I was born in Allahabad, lived much of my life there and completed my education there. I started my career in the Allahabad High Court. First as an advocate, then I was appointed the standing chief counsel of UP and then I became the judge there. I must tell you, the quality of cases that come to the court symbolize the condition of the state. Criminal cases have gone up; bail applications have gone up,criminal cases and the number of pending cases.

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