In a dramatic development on Tuesday, the acting Chief Justice of Gujarat High Court, V M Sahai, stunned a packed court room that there were ‘several scams’ in the High Court.
He said, “There is a computer scam in which the contract was given to the nephew of a sitting judge… ekdum kharab 1,101 laptop diya gaya, karodon rupaye swindled (1,101 bad laptops were given, crores swindled)… the real nephew of a sitting judge was given the contract and he supplied defective laptops worth Rs 2.79 crore. This was overruled by Justice Bhattacharya (former chief justice Bhaskar Bhattacharya).”
While hearing a PIL related to the allotment of government plots to 27 of its sitting and retired judges, Justice Sahai, who retires on Wednesday, had heated exchange with lawyers. He told them that there were “several scams” in the court involving other judges.
Later in the day, he constituted a larger bench to hear this matter. He informed that before admitting the PIL, he had sought opinions from all the judges.
“They didn’t talk to me. They thought I had no guts. Well, as for guts, I’m known to Mulayam and Mayawati.”
Advocate General Kamal Trivedi, opposed the move to constitute a larger bench and brought Justice Sahai’s attention to another alleged scam, where dozens of people were directly recruited in the high court in the Class-III and Class IV categories.
To which Justice Sahai snapped, “Don’t argue about Class-III and IV… CJ ke paas saari jaankari rehti hai. Mein Pandora’s Box open karna nahin chahta (The CJ has all the information. I don’t want to open a Pandora’s Box).”
Lawyers representing the judges had opposed the move to constitute a larger bench to hear this PIL, but Justice Sahai was in no mood to give in to their opposition.