In a strong indictment of the Allahabad High Court, the Supreme
Court on Friday observed that "there is something rotten" there
and raised serious questions over integrity of several of its
"Something is rotten in the State of Denmark, said Shakespeare in
Hamlet, and it can similarly be said that something is rotten in
the Allahabad High Court," said a Bench of justices Markandey
Katju and Gyan Sudha Mishra, adding the high court "really needs
some house cleaning".
The Bench also asked the chief justice of the high court to take
some strong measures, including recommending "transfers of the
It made the observation in a 12-page order, while making the
insinuation that several judges of the high court suffer from
'uncle judge' syndrome, which refers to judges passing favourable
orders for parties represented by lawyers known to them.
The Bench flew into a rage while scrapping a single-judge Bench
order of the Allahabad High Court which had asked a Bahraich-based
Waqf Board to temporarily allot a portion of its land in May-June
this year to the proprietors of a circus for its show during an
"The faith of the common man in the country is shaken to the core
by such shocking and outrageous orders," said Justices Katju and
"We are sorry to say but a lot of complaints are coming against
certain judges of the Allahabad High Court relating to their
integrity," said the Bench, without disclosing the contents of
Referring to the rampant 'uncle judge' syndrome allegedly plaguing
the high court, the apex court Bench said, "Some judges have their
kith and kin practising in the same court.
"And within a few years of starting practice, the sons or
relations of the judge become multi-millionaires, have huge bank
balances, luxurious cars, huge houses and are enjoying a luxurious
"This is a far cry from the days when the sons and other relatives
of judges could derive no benefit from their relationship and had
to struggle at the bar like any other lawyer," the Bench added.
The judge, however, sought to add a note of caution, saying, "We
do not mean to say that all lawyers who have close relations as
judges of the high court are misusing that relationship.
"Some are scrupulously taking care that no one should lift a
finger on this account. However, others are shamelessly taking
advantage of this relationship," the judges observed.
"There are other serious complaints also against some judges of
the high court," they said in a joint order, adding, "The
Allahabad High Court really needs some house cleaning (both
Allahabad and Lucknow Bench).
"We request the chief justice of the high court to do the needful,
even if he has to take some strong measures, including
recommending transfers of the incorrigibles," justices Katju and
Mishra said and also asked the apex court treasury to send their
order to the Allahabad High Court chief justice to "do the
The judges had flown off the handle, after detecting some legal
errors in the high court order, which included absence of
territorial jurisdiction to pass it as Bahraich falls under the
jurisdiction of the high court's Lucknow Bench.
The high court had also granted full legal relief to the circus
proprietor in an interim order, which is barred in judicial
proceedings, the apex court Bench pointed out.