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Justice Y.K.Sabharwal

Y_K_Sabharwal

Former CJI, Justice Y.K.Sabharwal set in motion the process of sealing of properties in designated residential areas of Delhi which were being used for commercial purposes. This sealing went on relentlessly under the continuous supervision of Chief Justice Sabharwal’s bench, monitored and directed by a Court appointed monitoring committee. When the government came up with a new master plan of Delhi 2021 which allowed mixed use and commercial activity in many of the areas which were designated as residential, Justice Sabharwal orders on the sealing continued.

Some of the facts which were not publicly known was that his two sons, Chetan and Nitin had entered into partnerships with big Mall and Commercial complex developers and had become big Commercial complex developers themselves during that time. It was clear that these orders were giving direct benefit to his sons’ business. His orders are against the principles of natural justice, which say that no judge can hear a case in which he is personally interested. There was a serious conflict of interest in this case which renders his orders a nullity. It is in fact arguable that his dealing with this case in such circumstances involves an offence under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

At the same time, it was also found that several plots were allotted to the Companies or relatives of Justice Sabharwal and which needs to be investigated to see if undue favour was shown to them and if so whether there was any quid pro quo in terms of judicial orders.

The facts thrown up in this case have very disturbing implications about the integrity of our judiciary in the highest places.

Other Interventions

  • Justice Sabharwal’s Defence Becomes Murkier: Stifling Public Exposure By Using Contempt Powers -Press Release- pdf (41 KB)
  • Securing Judicial Accountability Freedom Of Speech vs. Contempt Towards An Independent Judicial Commission by Prashant Bhushan pdf (40 KB)
  • Shocking Abuse of Judicial Power; Hindu editorial; Sep 24,2007-pdf (10.6KB)
  • Sabharwal on Trial; Times of India – pdf (28 KB)
  • Contept of Justice; Outlook online-pdf (85 KB)

Tehelka Investigation

  • Office of Profit: A Stink You Should Smell by Sanjay Dubey- pdf (35 KB)
  • Instead of helping shopkeepers, he made his sons rich- pdf (48 KB)
  • Silence Lies: Tehelka view by Shoma Chaudhary- pdf (138 KB)

“Wither Judicial Accountability? The case of Justice Sabharwal: Disquieting facts, disturbing implications”- Press Conference held on Aug 03, 2007
Press Conference was organised to highlight a grave case of Judicial Misconduct at the Apex of the Indian Judiciary. It disclosed how the then Chief Justice of India who had spearheaded the sealing drive was mired in serious conflict of interest in as much as his sons were deeply involved in the business of shopping malls and commercial complexes who stood to benefit from this sealing drive. It was addressed by Shri Shanti Bhushan, former Union Law Minister, Mr. Bhaskar Rao, Chairman, Centre for Media Studies, and Mr. Prashant Bhushan, advocate, Supreme Court among other. The Press Conference was attended by 40 news agencies and 80 participants.

Mid-day Investigation

  • Details of individual / organisation writing critique:
    Name: Committee on Judicial Accountability
    Address: 66 Lawyers Chambers, Supreme Court of India, New Delhi
  • Post held at the relevant time: Chief Justice of India, Supreme Court
  • Current Status: Retd Chief Justice of India, Supreme Court