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Tainted judge transfer sought

Jaipur, Jan. 12: The Rajasthan High Court Bar Association has turned the heat on high court judge Arun Madan, who has been charged with seeking sexual favours from a physician.

The association has written to the chief justice of India, demanding Madan’s immediate transfer to “restore the confidence of the public in the judiciary”.

A committee of three chief justices, appointed by the Supreme Court, had in its inquiry report indicted Justice Madan of seeking sexual favours from Dr Sunita Malviya of Jodhpur, in exchange for judicial favours in a case against her.

The committee will return to Rajasthan to examine more allegations of corruption against him. According to advocate Manish Bhandari, Bar association president, the chief justices of Punjab and Haryana, Delhi and Bihar will visit Jaipur and Jodhpur tomorrow and the day after.

The association has urged the chief justice to direct the high court against assigning Justice Madan any work so that the inquiry is not influenced.

The association members have been asked to hand over to the inquiry committee all evidence they might have against Justice Madan.

When lawyers met acting high court chief justice Magh Raj Kalla, he saw no point in withholding work from Justice Madan. He said the judge has not turned up in court since former Chief Justice of India G.B. Pattanaik made the inquiry findings public on December 14.

A notice of January 8, issued by the high court deputy registrar, said all cases listed for Justice Madan’s appraisal stood adjourned as he would not be in court on January 9.

The Bar association, which has decided to boycott Justice Madan, has also set up an advisory panel to suggest ways to begin impeachment proceedings.

According to Malviya’s complaint to the anti-corruption bureau, high court deputy registrar (record) Govind Kalvani had played the middleman. He has since been chargesheeted.

Kalvani reportedly met Malviya on October 18 and said the case would be disposed of in her favour if she slept with him and a couple of high court judges.

On October 21, Kalvani rang up Malviya on her cellphone. She invited him home and told husband Ajay, a government doctor, and Jodhpur additional divisional commissioner Prabha Tak. At Malviya’s home, Kalvani repeated his proposal and then called Justice Madan on his cellphone. Once his voice was recorded, Ajay and the others called in Tak. Kalvani was allowed to leave in Tak’s presence.

The next day, Tak and Malviya briefed divisional commissioner Khem Raj Chawdhary and handed him the tape. Malviya sent a copy of the tape and a formal complaint to the high court Chief Justice.

When the news reached Pattanaik, he set up the three-judge committee to inquire into the complaint.

The committee indicted Justice Madan, but the outgoing Chief Justice did not take action against him because, reportedly, he wanted the panel to probe further allegations of corruption against Madan.

The committee will visit the state this month for the purpose.

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