Manmohan Supports Katju's Charges

The former PM in a way confirms that the UPA ally DMK had put pressure on the Centre to go against the line taken by Katju

Published: 23rd July 2014 08:32 AM  |   Last Updated: 23rd July 2014 08:32 AM   |  A+A-

Smriti

NEW DELHI: His ‘silence’ on crucial issues was seen as his biggest folly. But former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday spoke out on the startling disclosure made by former Supreme Court Judge Markandey Katju that  startling revelation on how a Madras High Court Judge had been given extension under political pressure. Only that he won’t say anything more on the issue. Even as the raging controversy that saw the AIADMK MPs raising the issue in Parliament for the second straight day, Manmohan pointed out that his former Law Minister H R Bhardwaj had already spoken up and given his view on how the events had unfolded.

“The then Union Law Minister Bhardwaj has explained everything. I have nothing more to add,” Singh told the media, in a way confirming that the UPA ally DMK had put pressure on the Centre to go against the line taken by Katju, the then Chief Justice of Madras High Court, where the judge in question Justice Ashok Kumar was posted.

Manmohan’s remarks came after the BJP, which has been at the receiving end in Parliament where the AIADMK has been demanding a probe into Katju’s allegations, wanted the former PM to come clean on the matter. BJP spokesperson Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said,”It’s time the former Prime Minister does some explaining, not us.” Citing a May 2005 note, sources said that the then PMO had, in fact, written to the then Supreme Court Collegium (comprising Justice R C Lahoti,Justice Y K Sabharwal, Justice Ruma Pal and two from the Madras HC) backing the confirmation of the Madras High Court Judge. But the Collegium did not yield, after which  Bhardwaj wrote to them making it clear that the government backed the judge.

It was in response to the Law Minister’s intervention that then CJI Lahoti had cleared an extension of the judge in question, but did not confirm him-- in a note, he attributed his decision to “the sensitivity of the government on the issue.”

Without fully denying that there had been some level of political intervention from the DMK, Bhardwaj said that the then UPA Government neither buckled under pressure nor did anything that can be construed as interference with the due procedure that involves the Supreme Court Collegium taking the final call. Bhardwaj, however, changed the context of the argument and made it a caste rather than a corruption issue.

Stay up to date on all the latest Nation news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp