Justice Narayan Shukla
Justice Narayan Shukla

Allahabad High Court's Justice SN Shukla, booked for corruption and stripped of judicial work since 2018, retires today

Justice Narayan Shukla, under the CBI's scanner for accepting illegal gratification in return for favourable verdicts to a medical college, retires from judicial service today.

Lydia Suzanne Thomas

The Allahabad High Court's Justice SN Shukla, booked by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for accepting bribes from Prasad Education Trust-run Glocal Medical College in return for favourable verdicts, retires from judicial service today. He will turn 62 tomorrow.

The college was at the centre of several legal battles in 2017, after the Union government revoked its recognition owing to deteriorating academic standards and non-adherence to required quality markers.

It later emerged that the institution was making payments running into crores of rupees to bribe senior members of the judiciary. The purpose of the payments was securing favourable verdicts in pleas challenging the revocation of the college's recognition, it came to be known.

One of the names that surfaced during the inquiries was Justice Shukla's. Charges of judicial impropriety were slapped against Shukla J, after it was found that he had made handwritten corrections to an order passed by his own bench, so as to allow a medical college in Lucknow permission to take admissions.

After a complaint against him was moved by the Advocate General of Uttar Pradesh in November 2017, an In-House Committee constituted by then Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra indicted Justice Shukla with malpractice.

After the Committee's indictment of Justice Shukla for wrongdoing, he was reportedly requested to resign his position as judge, which he refused.

Subsequently, CJI Misra wrote to the Prime Minister and the President seeking his removal from office. He also wrote to the Chief Justice of the Allahabad High Court seeking divestiture of Justice Shukla's judicial and administrative tasks.

Since then, all administrative and judicial work has been taken away from him, with his entrance to the Court premises also being barred.

In June 2019, then Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi also sought Justice Shukla's impeachment. However, the same was not acted upon.

Justice Shukla, however, maintained his innocence and questioned the findings of the In-House Committee that comprised of then Madras High Court Chief Justice Indira Banerjee, then Sikkim High Court Chief Justice SK Agnihotri and Madhya Pradesh High Court judge Justice PK Jaiswal.

The CBI commenced investigations against the judge in 2017 with a preliminary inquiry. In 2019, after sanction from CJI Gogoi, the CBI initiated criminal proceedings against the judge, charging him with accepting illegal gratification in cases pertaining to the college.

Justice Shukla enrolled as an advocate in 1983. He was elevated as an additional judge of the Allahabad High Court on October 10, 2005, and was made permanent on August 10, 2007.

Bar and Bench - Indian Legal news