A few days back, a Congress MP [Member of Parliament] from Kerala made public statement that he had personally witnessed a Supreme Court judge being bribed in order to get a favourable judgement in a case related to issuing license to 21 bars in Kerala. The incident took place many years ago when K Karunakaran was the chief minister of Kerala. Karunakaran is no more. Why K Sudhakaran MP has now highlighted this issue is quite a mystery. But the aftermath of his revelation is even more mysterious. He is being accused of being party to bribing [even witnessing an act of bribing is a crime] and of tarnishing the image of judges. A case has already been registered against Sudhakaran both in Thiruvananthapuram and Delhi.
While it is possible that Sudhakaran’s revelation is a politically motivated act, the more important question is whether he should be victimised for speaking out the truth instead of probing the truth further and bringing to book the real culprits.
In the meanwhile, Jose Illickal, a former partner of one of the bars which benefitted from the above-mentioned case has stated that the bribe was paid to the Supreme Court judge in the Kerala House in Delhi with the assistance of Sudhakaran. Illickal has said that the judge was paid Rs 26 lakh [2.6 million]. He also listed the bribes paid to others. Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee received Rs 10 lakh, the then excise minister in Kerala got Rs 10 lakh, K Karunakaran also got Rs 10 lakh, while MLA Rosakutty received Rs 5 lakh.
Sudhakaran has refused to comment on Illickal’s charges. He said that the truth would be clear to people in two days.
Kerala is now witnessing a series of allegations about various politicians. The chief minister V S Achuthanandan is in the dock with allegations of influencing the judiciary in another case. Kunjalikutty, an MLA belonging to the Muslim League, who had earlier been acquitted in a rape case is back in the role of the accused with new revelations coming from a family member of his and former confidante. Former electricity minster, R Balakrishna Pillai of the Congress Party, has already been sentenced to a year in prison for financial malpractices he committed while he was a minister.
Are we witnessing the beginning of a cleansing process in Indian politics? The TV channels are playing a big role in this process. Let’s hope that eventually there will be more transparency in our political domain.