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Ex-CJI Lahoti denies Katju's accusations

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Former Chief Justice of India R C Lahoti has hit back at Press Council Chairman and former Supreme Court Judge Markandey Katju, who has accused him of helping a judge despite serious allegations against him. Justice Lahoti said on Tuesday that he has done nothing wrong and does not believe in stooping to anyone's level.

His reaction came hours after Katju, in a blog, posed six questions to him. Justice Katju wanted to know from Justice Lahoti whether the IB inquiry was ordered on his request and whether the collegium after perusing the IB report had recommended to the government not to extend the term of additional judge. Katju also wanted to know whether Justice Lahoti wrote to the government to give another one year term to the additional Judge despite the collegium's recommendation against extension.

Justice Katju on Monday had alleged that Justice Lahoti and his successors Justices Y K Sabharwal and K G Balakrishnan made improper compromises and succumbed to political pressure in granting extension to an additional judge of Madras High Court at the instance of UPA-I government owing to pressure from an ally and his confirmation as permanent judge.

Former law Minister H R Bhardwaj told a TV channel that the prescribed procedure was strictly followed in the judge's case. He admitted that there was also a representation from DMK and about 18 SC and OBC MPs in the case. He said the case was referred back to Chief Justice of India and later in an inquiry, it was found his proximity with politicians leading to his transfer from the Madras High Court.

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