Gehlot files apology affidavit in HC, says sorry for remark on ‘corruption’ in judiciary

 In an affidavit filed Tuesday in the Rajasthan High Court, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot tendered an “unconditional apology” for his remark suggesting that there was “rampant corruption” in the judiciary.

The affidavit was in response to a petition filed by an advocate over Gehlot’s remark on August 30 that had triggered outrage in the lawyers’ community.

Gehlot had suggested then that some judges were delivering judgments drafted by lawyers. “Corruption is rampant in the judiciary today. I have heard that some lawyers themselves take the judgement in writing and the same judgement is pronounced,” he told reporters.

The bench of Justices M M Shrivastava and Praveer Bhatnagar posted the matter for the next hearing on November 7, allowing the petitioner to file his rejoinder to the chief minister’s affidavit.

“The answering respondent submits that he has the utmost regard for the majesty of law and the judiciary. He has not knowingly or unknowingly made any statement to undermine the dignity of law or courts. The answering respondent has full faith in judiciary,” Gehlot said in the affidavit filed on his behalf.

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However, if the court feels that the statement attempted to lower the dignity of the judiciary among people, “the answering respondent tenders his unconditional apology for the same”, it added.

The affidavit said he has been reading what many former judges of the Supreme Court have said about corruption in the judiciary. It added that members of the public meeting him about their grievances have also highlighted “corrupt practices” in the judiciary.

“This has greatly anguished the respondent,” it said.

Some published articles on the judiciary were also attached with the Congress leader’s reply.

High court lawyers and those working in the lower courts in Jodhpur had observed a day-long strike over Gehlot’s remark. The CM had later backtracked, saying the comment did not reflect his “personal opinion”.

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