New Delhi: Former Chief Justice of India RM Lodha termed the prevailing situation in the apex judiciary as “disastrous” and said though the CJI is the master of roster, the allocation of cases has to be “fair and in the interest of the institution”.
Asserting that the “independence of judiciary is non-negotiable”, Justice Lodha said it was for the CJI to take the institution forward by showing “statesmanship qualities” and taking his colleagues together.
“The phase we are seeing at the Supreme Court today is, to say the least, disastrous. It is high time that collegiality is restored. The judges, though with their different approaches and different view points, must find a common ground that takes the Supreme Court forward. That maintains the independence of judiciary,” Justice Lodha said at the launch of a book by former union minister Arun Shourie.
Justice Lodha had faced a similar incident as in the case of Uttarakhand High Court Chief Justice KM Joseph during his tenure as the CJI when the NDA government had segregated the Collegium’s recommendation and sought reconsideration of the name of senior advocate Gopal Subramanium as an apex court judge.
Subramanium had later stepped aside from the race.
“I always felt that independence of judiciary is non-negotiable and it is for the CJI, who is the leader of the court, to take them forward. He has to show his statesmanship qualities, take all brothers and sisters together,” Lodha said, without making any reference to the incumbent CJI Dipak Misra.
Former Delhi High Court Chief Justice AP Shah and Shourie, a critic of the NDA government, shared the platform with Justice Lodha and also criticised the overall functioning of the CJI.
Justice Lodha released the book titled “Anita Gets Bail”, published by HarperCollins India, in which the former union minister deals with various judgments from the apex court to trial courts.
Shah termed the recent verdict of the apex court on the death of special CBI judge BH Loya as “utterly wrong, and jurisprudentially, incorrect on so very many counts”. He said that the apex court in the judge Loya case verdict had called it as a veiled attempt to attack on the judiciary and asked “How is asking for an investigation an attack on the judiciary?”
“The system as a whole has evolved into something cold-hearted. Even with all this, the judiciary is still one of the last institutions that are respected, but that is changing,” he said.
Justice Shah said that the judiciary is going through an extremely volatile phase which has not been witnessed in recent years.
“The press meet held by four senior judges of the Supreme Court earlier this year made allusions, in no cryptic terms, to the charge of selective allocation of cases, and the misuse of the power of master of the roster. This is a very serious issue and is nothing short of an allegation of bench packing,” he said.
“We cannot function without a judiciary that is independent, or without a justice system that is self-reflective, and is aware of its faults and wants to improve them,” he said.
Shourie said if CJI Misra has to “say repeatedly that he is the master of the roster … this already means that he has lost the moral authority”. He also advocated that the executive should be checked in order to prevent “totalitarian control of every institution” and said “if you do not stop them, they will go on. Most institutions are eroded from the inside”.
Fielding Sadhvi Pragya a reply to those who linked Hindu with terror: PM
New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said the recent Income Tax raids on certain politicians were not part of “political vendetta” and things were happening as per the law.
PM Modi also defended the decision to field Malegaon blast accused Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur from the Bhopal Lok Sabha seat, saying she is a “symbol” for those who described Hindus as terrorists. She will give a tough fight to the Congress there, he said.
Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur is pitted against senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh from the seat in Madhya Pradesh.
“The decision (to field Thakur) is a befitting reply to individuals who linked a whole religion and culture to terror,” the prime minister said taking a jibe at the Congress over saffron terror remarks.
PM Modi said the Income Tax raids were happening as per the law and were not part of any “political vendetta”.
He said the raids have all yielded proof of corruption, including siphoning of money from schemes meant for the most vulnerable sections of the society like children and expectant mothers.
Responding to a question on loan defaulters Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi escaping the country, PM Modi said when they realised that under the present government, they will have to return the loan; they escaped taking benefit of the system.
In 2019, they have been brought to the steps of jails, after 2019, they will be in jail, PM Modi said.
“Why aren’t the critics talking about the fact that some have lost their cases on extradition while others are rotting in jail,” he said.
He asserted that the BJP will return to power with greater numbers and said even the NDA allies would do better than 2014 polls. It will be a complete majority, PM Modi said.
If Indiraji is credited for 1971 Bangladesh war, why not PM Modi for Pakistan air-strike : Rajnath
New Delhi: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said Prime Minister Narendra Modi deserves the credit for the country’s air strike inside Pakistan just as Indira Gandhi was honoured for the success in the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War.
Singh hit out at the Congress for seeking evidence of the outcome of the Balakot air strike by Indian Air Force and said the BJP-led government has been able to effectively isolate Pakistan for sheltering “terror elements.:
He recounted that former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee who was a leader of the Jan Sangh, the former avtar of BJP, had complimented Indira Gandhi for the success in the Bangladesh Liberation war and had said the party would not hesitate to accord its fullest cooperation to Indira Gandhi.
“Now, what is wrong in praising Modiji if he gave a fitting reply to Pakistan after the Pulwama attack ?” Singh asked while slamming the opposition parties for raising questions when there was nation-wide “euphoria” following the air strike on terror camps inside Pakistan territory.
Singh was addressing a series of election meetings in Keonjhar, Cuttack and Puri parliamentary constituencies in Odisha which are going to polls in the third phase on April 23 to bolster the prospcts of BJP candidates.
“The opposition has been seeking to know the number of terrorists killed in the air strike. How can the jawans count the number when the target is a huge gathering of terrorists? … Jawans do not count bodies, it is the work of vultures.”
Claiming that the BJP government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been able to isolate Pakistan in the international community, Singh said “None other than Narendra Modi can give a befiting reply to Pakistan.”
Stating that India is no more weak, the senior BJP leader said “We do not attack anyone but if someone attacks us, we do not spare him.
“Our policy is very clear. We do not attack any one, never try to acquire anyone’s territory. But if anyone dares to hit us we will not sit idle,” Singh said,
Apart from strengthening the country’s security, Modi has ensured that country’s economy improved. “When BJP came to power in 2014, India’s position in terms of economy was 9th. Now within four and half years, India’s place is 6th in the world. We will be among the top three by 2030,” he said.
Chaiwala vs doodhwala: Akhilesh’s battlecry in Azamgarh
AZAMGARH: Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav coined a new battle slogan to counter Prime Minister Narendra’s chaiwala (tea seller) catchphrase.
“If PM Modi is chaiwala, then we are doodhwala. Without good milk, good tea cannot be made,” said the former Uttar Pradesh chief minister while addressing a rally at Baitholi bypass after filing his nomination from Azamgarh parliamentary constituency for the Lok Sabha election 2019 .
Targetting PM Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party, the SP chief said, “BJP is calling the alliance of SP, Bahujan Samaj Party and Rashtriya Lok Dal as Mahamilawat. And what will be the coalition of 38 parties be called?”
Ahead of the general election, SP, BSP and RLD announced their alliance on March 6. BSP is contesting on 38 seats, SP on 37 and RLD on three seats in Uttar Pradesh.
In a subtle reference to UP CM Yogi Adityanath while urging voters to remove the “dictatorial” BJP government in the state, Yadav said, “BSP, RLD and SP will hold a new history. First the chowkidar will go away from the country and then the thekedar too.”
“The BJP showed just dreams to everyone, but did not even complete the work. BJP’s talk starts with the toilet and ends there. In any case, there is no special difference between the Congress and BJP in the matter of toilets. If one digs a pit for the toilet then the other has two crates,” said the 45-year-old SP chief.
The SP chief said Azamgarh is the ‘karmabhoomi’ of ‘samajwadis’ and that the SP-BSP-RLD coaliton is an alliance of ‘mahaparivartan’ (grand change) and not ‘mahamilawat’ (adulteration) as alleged by the BJP.
Thousands of BSP supporters joined SP chief and raised slogans like
Kaam bolta hai (work speaks).
Akhilesh Yadav is seeking election Azamgarh, a seat won by his father Mulayam Singh Yadav in the 2014 general elections. The BJP has pitted Bhojpuri superstar Nirahua or Dinesh Lal Yadav against him.
Uttar Pradesh is witnessing polling during all seven phases of the election. The first and second phases were held on April 11 and April 18. The next phases are scheduled to be held on April 23, April 29, May 6, May 12 and May 19. The votes will be counted on May 23.