An attempt to send a message to other judges that if you don't agree with us, fifty MPs are enough for a revenge action: Arun Jaitley
New Delhi: In a strongly-worded article on the Justice Loya death case and the impeachment motion against Chief Justice Dipak Misra by the Opposition parties, finance minister Arun Jaitley on Friday said the impeachment motion is a “revenge petition” after the falsehood of the Congress was established in the Justice Loya death case. Mr Jaitley said the impeachment notice is “an attempt to intimidate a judge and send a message to other judges that if you don’t agree with us, 50 MPs are enough for a revenge action”.
In an unprecedented move, seven Opposition parties led by the Congress moved a notice for the impeachment of the Chief Justice of India, accusing him of “misbehaviour” and “misuse” of authority. In a Facebook post titled — “Loya Death Case – The one that almost created a judicial mutiny”, Mr Jaitley said the judgment in Justice Loya death case “exposes every fact of the conspiracy to generate falsehood as propaganda in the public and political space” and never before in the past have “national political parties, a few retired judges and some lawyers come out as conspirators pursuing a certain falsehood”. The Union minister also said that it has been seen that “institution disruptors” have evolved from public interest crusaders in Indian courts who “pick up even false causes and pursue the falsehood with a sense of deep commitment, indulge in intimidating advocacy, are shrill with their opposing colleagues, are rude and impolite with the judges.” He said these institution disruptors have now become spokespersons of the Judge Loya death case falsehood.
Mr Jaitley has mentioned that a “detailed analysis” of the facts and the “role played by some groups is necessary since I suspect such attempts will also be made in the future”, as he mentioned about the case of BJP president Amit Shah’s alleged involvement in the Sohrabuddin alleged encounter and how Mr Shah was later acquitted by the court. “Some individuals challenged the (Mr Shah’s) discharge order before the Bombay high court and the SC. The challenge was rejected. Many of those who raked up the Judge Loya death case were associated against Amit Shah in the Sohrabuddin case,” said the Union minister. He also added that articles in the media on Justice Loya’s death were “deliberately generated fake news where falsehood was manufactured to generate a massive public controversy”.
Hitting out at the Congress, Mr Jaitley said that the country has witnessed its devolution from a mainstream party to a party that has now takien fringe position and is “too willing to identify with these institution disruptors and thus intimidation of courts has become the new form of advocacy”. Referring to the controversial press conference of the four Supreme Court’s judges earlier this year, Mr Jaitley said that if intimidatory tactics of institution disruptors and the impeachment motion are threats to judicial independence, the single greatest threat is the divided court itself. “Does this impeachment set a precedent that political parties in India will use impeachment as an instrument to intimidate judges hearing controversial matters? What has happened today is a price the Indian judiciary has to pay for misadventures of many. There is no better time for judicial statesmanship and political foresight,” he wrote.
Reacting on the impeachment notice, BJP spokesperson and party MP Meenakshi Lekhi said the move is an attempt to pressure the judiciary and send out the message that “either you do what we say and if you dare not do as we command then we will impeach judges”. Lashing out at the Congress, Ms Lekhi said it was trying to “demean, degrade and denigrate” the judiciary after its “conspiracies” in the case of Justice Loya’s death and riot charges against its Gujarat leader Maya Kodnani were exposed.