Warangal: In a classroom in a Warangal college, they picked up their pens, and began their exam. A "flying squad" of invigilators that conducts secret checks caught them on hidden camera - copying from books, smuggled notes, and each other. These were not delinquent college students, but senior judges of the Andhra Pradesh High Court.
They took the first-year LLM exam because if they passed, they would have been eligible for promotions and increments.
Seven were caught cheating; five have been suspended.
"It doesn't matter whether or not they are judges. They were indulging in malpractice and we have booked cases,'' says Dayakar Rao, the Principal of the Arts and Science College of Kakatiya University.
For the Andhra Pradesh judiciary, the massive embarrassment has called for some urgent introspection. "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?'' asks Ravi Kumar of the Warangal Bar Association.