MUMBAI: In a shrill attack on the Centre over four senior Supreme Court judges raising the issue of "selective" case allocation, the Shiv Sena said today that those who vouch for democracy are in reality weakening it.
Those who alleged that former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi used to intervene in judicial matters are now in power, the Sena said, adding her rule seems to be more humane and democratic.
It said the country was "suffocated" and breathed easily with the judges speaking out.
Those who used to allege that Indira Gandhi was intervening in judicial matters are now in power. And going by the current developments about several constitutional posts, Gandhi's regime appears to be more humane and democratic, the Sena said in an editorial in party mouthpiece 'Saamana'.
"You (Centre) talk in favour of democracy but in reality you weaken it and this is going on currently in the country," it further said.
The Indian judiciary was thrown into a turmoil on Friday last when four senior Supreme Court judges -- Justice J Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, M B Lokur and Kurian Joseph –- convened an unprecedented press conference to raise the issue of assignment of cases.
The Sena said it was a courageous step taken by the four judges "for strengthening of democracy." "Is it about CJI Dipak Misra coming under pressure and keeping these four neutral judges aside from certain hearings?" the NDA ally sought to know.
Attorney General K K Venugopal, who had a meeting with Justice Misra after the joint news conference of the judges, on Friday said it "could have been avoided" and that all judges would now have to act in "statesmanship" to ensure total harmony.
The Sena said the attorney general should also throw light on reasons behind the controversy and that the "country should stand behind the judges (who held the press conference) in support." "The four judges have not let the truth die. They raised their voice in the framework of law for democratic freedom.
The country was suffocated and breathed easily with the judges speaking out," the saffron party said.
It said the act of judges has also triggered a nationwide debate on what were the cases before the apex court and why were these judges kept away from hearing them.
"Efforts are made by highest levels to keep these judges away and ultimately it is a devaluation of our judicial system," the editorial alleged.
The party also raised questions over judicial impartiality after the judges went public.
"The judges' act also raises questions on whether the judiciary is manipulative. Such things are poisoning the judicial system and it could lead the country to anarchy," the Sena cautioned.
It said if such a move by judges had been made during the UPA regime, there would have been an outcry from the BJP and others about the murder of democracy and weakening of the judicial system. "But it seems they (BJP) have lost their voice," it said.
The judges who spoke out may now be dubbed as "Congress agent, or getting a support of 'outside powers' or even connected with Naxalism", it added.
Referring to former Calcutta High Court Judge C S Karnan who was arrested last year and sentenced to six months jail for contempt of court, the Sena said, "...he was almost declared mad. It seems he also wanted to speak truth but got crushed."