Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Thursday said that his remark stating that there was “rampant corruption” in the judiciary is not his personal opinion.
This came a day after the Congress leader told reporters that he had heard that some lawyers write judgements, which are later pronounced by the courts.
“What is happening in the judiciary?” he had asked. “Whether lower or upper, the situation is very serious.”
The chief minister’s comment caused outrage among the bar and lawyers’ associations in the state.
The Rajasthan High Court Lawyers’ Association had announced a one-day strike on Friday across all courts in the state. In a letter to the chief justice of the Rajasthan High Court, the association said that Gehlot had made the statement to “mislead the public”.
Rajasthan High Court Bar Association President Mahendra Shandilya told The Indian Express that Gehlot’s remark was unfortunate and the chief minister should present evidence if he has any.
A lawyer named Shiv Charan Gupta also filed a public interest litigation in the Jaipur bench of the Rajasthan High Court, seeking initiation of contempt proceedings against Gehlot, according to PTI.
On Friday, Gehlot, however, said that several retired Supreme Court judges and retired chief justices have previously spoken about the “corruption” in the judiciary and raised concerns.
“I have never made any adverse comment even on the names of the High Court Collegium that come to us for comments for the appointment of judges,” he said. “I clearly believe that every citizen should respect and trust the judiciary. This will strengthen democracy.”