PTI | Hyderabad
In a major embarrassment for the Andhra Pradesh judiciary, five judges were caught cheating while writing the LLM (Master of Law) examination for which they were promptly suspended by the High Court.
One of the judges was found copying from a law book hidden under his answer sheet. Written slips and pages torn from textbooks were seized from other judges.
All the materials were confiscated by university invigilators who stopped the judges from writing any further.
The five judges were caught copying by the invigilators during the first-year LLM examson August 24 at the Kakatiya University's Arts College in Warangal town, about 150 km from here, a senior court official said.
According to N Manohar, the university's additional controller of examinations, the candidates were taking their examinations in Room No 102 when a team headed by him made a surprise visit.
The judges were caught on camera copying from books, smuggled notes, and each other.
After a report was received from the Kakatiya University, Chief Justice of the Andhra Pradesh High Court Mohammad Kakru placed the five judges under suspension pending inquiry against them, the official said.
The suspended judges are Ajitsimha Rao, Vijender Reddy, M Kistappa, Srinivasachary and Hanumantha Rao.
If they had passed the LLM examinations, they would have been eligible for promotions and increments. Two others, both advocates were also caught copying.
"It doesn't matter whether or not they are judges. They were indulging in malpractices and we have booked cases against them," says Dayakar Rao, the Principal of the university said.
The Warangal Bar Association said the whole episode was a blot on the judiciary. "The judiciary is the final recourse for common people to get justice - and if the judges indulge in this kind of malpractice, how can you trust the judgment of the courts?" asked Ravi Kumar of the association.