NEW DELHI: The Congress trained its guns at Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday, asking him to explain why his Principal Secretary Nripendra Misra had visited Chief Justice Dipak Misra a day after four Supreme Court judges spoke out against him.
“As PM’s Principal Secretary, Nripendra Misra visits CJI’s residence at 5, Krishna Menon Marg; PM must answer the reason for sending this special messenger to Chief Justice of India,” Congress communication department head Randeep Surjewala tweeted after visuals of Misra sitting in his car outside the CJI’s residence went viral.
Misra denied the meeting and said he had stopped at the CJI’s residence on his way to his office and had left his card at the gate with New Year greetings. However, there were reports that the CJI had refused to meet Nripendra Misra, apparently to avoid another controversy.
The government has maintained it is not going to intervene in the issue of senior judges going public with their grievances against the CJI.
Former law minister Salman Khurshid too questioned the PM’s silence over the matter. “Coincidence or interference of government causing stress to Constitutional institutions. Sad exposition of trouble in Supreme Court. Nero fiddles?,” Khurshid tweeted.
Party insiders said that though they wanted the judiciary to settle the dispute by itself, the government had a role behind the concerns expressed by the four judges on Friday.
Joining the issue, activist Tehseen Poonawala, who is a petitioner in the Justice Loya death case, alleged that senior lawyer Dushyant Dave had “pressured” him to withdraw the case from the court of Justice Arun Mishra, and that another senior lawyer, Indira Jaising, wanted the case to be moved to the Bombay High Court. Poonawala also said he supported the four judges. The ruling BJP maintained a studied silence over the issue.