Political bickering continues over judicial turbulence
The turbulence in the country’s highest judiciary continued to impact the political corridors on Saturday. The Congress took objection to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Principal Secretary Nripendra Misra’s attempted meeting with Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra; BJP’s NDA ally Shiv Sena queered the pitch for the Government on the issue and even questioned the need for President Ramnath Kovind to undertake a visit to Mumbai when the apex court was facing a crisis; and the Left parties slammed their own MP for meeting one of the dissenting judges as it attained political connotations.
The Congress sought an explanation from Modi as to why a “special messenger” was sent to the CJI’s residence. Misra’s visit came against the backdrop of four SC judges voicing their opinion against the functioning of the highest judicial authority.
But Misra clarified that he had gone to the CJI’s house to wish him New Year and congratulate him on shifting into the new house. However, he could not meet the CJI since the latter was doing his puja.
The Shiv Sena, which has been at odds with the BJP for some time now, praised the four SC judges and said attempts were being made to make the judiciary “deaf and dumb”.
Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray said the Government should not meddle in the matter. “The decision of those judges should be lauded. There is a high possibility that there will be an enquiry called against them now. However, this enquiry should be unbiased,” Thackeray told reporters.
“The question that has arisen now is if people are fulfilling their responsibilities towards the nation? Only winning elections is not administration,” he said when asked if the judiciary seemed under pressure under the current dispensation.
Thackeray even questioned the timing of President Kovind’s visit to Mumbai. He sought to know what pressing engagements he had in Mumbai when the apex court was facing a crisis. “What is so important happening here that the President is coming to Mumbai?” he asked.
The Left parties slammed CPI MP D Raja for meeting one of the dissenting judges Justice J Chelameswar soon after he along with three other SC judges held their Press conference to take on the CJI. The CPI sought to distance itself from Raja’s meeting saying the latter met justice Chelameshwar in his personal capacity. The CPI(M) also intervened saying that Raja shouldn’t have met Justice Chelameswar at this point of time.
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