“GANESHA PANDALS ON HC PREMISES TRIGGER A ROW” :- Defying an official circular of the High Court that stipulates that no religious idols can be placed inside the court premises, two associations have set up Ganesh pandals.
The two pandals were set up within the premises of the High Court — one in the office of the Karnataka State Advocates Clerks’ Association and the other inside the Advocates’ Conference Hall near Court Hall no. 1.
The pandal inside the Advocates’ Conference Hall is equipped with loudspeakers.
The installation of the two idols inside the court premises are against an order issued by the Registrar-General of the High Court R.B. Budihal on July 1, 2009. The order states: “No idol of any deity and no statue of any personality shall be installed nor any temple, mosque, prayer hall or monument representing any particular religion shall be established within the Principal Bench of the High Court of Karnataka, High Court Circuit Benches at Dharwad and Gulbarga or in any premises of the subordinate courts in the State, including the premises of the Advocates Associations/Bar Associations in order to upkeep the independence and secular status of the judiciary.”
Mr. Budihal’s office conveyed to The Hindu that he doesn’t speak to journalists as a matter of principle. However, his office confirmed that the order was indeed issued by him and continues to be in force.
Advocates Association Bangalore (AAB) president K.N. Subba Reddy defended the setting up of the pandals, saying “Ganesh is a universal god. People of all faiths pray to him. Ganesh puja is being organised with the help of the AAB. It has been going on for more than 20 years. What is wrong?.”
Lawyers, who do not subscribe to the practice of promoting religious activities within court premises, point out that offices in most courts in the State have religious photographs and little shrines within them. One lawyer, who did not wish to be named, referred to the second part of Mr. Budihal’s order, which states: “Except the portrait of the Father of the Nation – Mahatma Gandhi, no other photograph/portrait shall be exhibited…”
Advocate-General Ravivarma Kumar has taken exception to the two Ganesh pandals inside the court. In a dictated statement, he said: “I am against utilising any public property for religious ends. It [the act of keeping Ganesha statues] is not sponsored by the High Court of Karnataka. It is a mystery how the High Court premises has been lent for a private religious purpose. ”
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………… reported in The Hindu, Bangalore date-lined Sept 13,2013 front page. Reported by Sudipto Mandal. Bangalore. ….
……“Allows allows SEX by Sitting HC Lord in Chamber!”……..Justice Arali Nagaraj was found in a compromising position with a female court member six months ago; Chief Justice Khehar sought his resignation after committee of judges conducted probe
In what will go down in the history of the higher judiciary as the most brazen act of sexual misconduct by a sitting judge, a Karnataka High Court judge was forced to resign last week following a complaint after he was found in a compromising position with a female member of his staff six months ago.
Top state government sources confirmed that Justice Arali Nagaraj was asked by Chief Justice J S Khehar to put in his papers on Tuesday after a three-member committee of senior judges found the complaint to be true.
While Nagaraj resigned on the grounds of ‘moral turpitude’, the HC administration is in the process of sending a detailed report to the authority concerned.
The allegation levelled against the judge was serious, which was later enquired and proved by the panel.
Nagaraj was found in a compromising position with a woman staffer in a chamber at the Dharwad Circuit Bench court complex.
News of the judge’s romp somehow leaked and was brought to the notice of Khehar, who had the matter probed and then sought Nagaraj’s resignation.
The judge’s act inside his chamber in the HC led to a complaint of explosive nature being filed almost six months ago and sealed Nagaraj’s fate and left the state’s judicial fraternity shocked.
It is learnt that after the unsavoury incident, the lady was promptly transferred out to Gulbarga Circuit Bench.
However, the weight and nature of the evidence before the Chief Justice was overwhelming enough for him to come to the conclusion that Nagaraj had committed sexual misconduct and that he should therefore resign.
It was found prudent that instead of formally slapping charges of sexual misconduct and misdemeanour on Nagaraj, he should be asked to make a quiet exit.
Nagaraj’s resignation comes in the wake of a slew of cases involving judges of the high judiciary, who have found themselves on the wrong side of the law.
Former Karnataka High Court Chief Justice P D Dinakaran resigned as CJ of the Sikkim High Court inJuly on charges of corruption and high misdemeanour.
However, Nagaraj’s case is the first of its kind in history of the Indian judiciary, which led to a sitting judge being forced to quit on charges of sexual dalliance with a lady staff member.
When contacted, Karnataka High Court Registrar Somashekhar refused to comment. Meanwhile his personal assistant said, “We do not know anything and I will not talk to the media.”
Sources confirmed that it is because of the tawdry nature of the complaint against Nagaraj that the issue is being kept a closely guarded secret.
MiD DAY tried to contact Nagaraj at his residence and spoke to his family members, who said that he had gone out of station.
On the way up
Born in 1951, Nagaraj was appointed as additional judge in the Karnataka High Court on July 4, 2007 and became a permanent judge on July 3, 2009.
In February 1993, he was directly recruited as a district and sessions judge and served in Belgaum, Mangalore, Bijapur and Bangalore.
He has also served as member secretary to the Karnataka State Legal Services Authority and director of the Karnataka Judicial Academy
By: Imran Gowhar Date: 2011-09-29 Place: Bangalore City Police