Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley
Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley

It is time to stand up with judiciary, says Arun Jaitley

ANI | Updated: Apr 21, 2019 19:23 IST

New Delhi [India], Apr 21 (ANI): A day after the charges of sexual harassment against Chief Justice of India Justice Ranjan Gogoi surfaced, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Sunday said stressed the need to "stand up with judiciary.”
“The incident of a junior ex-lady employee of the Supreme Court making harassment charges against the Chief Justice of India has acquired a disproportionate magnitude. When the complainant distributes copies of her representation to other Judges of the Supreme Court and the media in order to sensationalise her allegations, it ceases to be routine,"  Finance Minister Jaitley said in a blog titled "It's Time to Stand up With the Judiciary."
“When four digital media organisations with an unparalleled track record of ‘institutional disruption’ send similar questionnaires to the Chief Justice of India, there is obviously something more than what meets the eye,” Jaitley said.
Terming CJI Ranjan Gogoi as well-regarded in terms of personal decency, values, ethics, and integrity, Jaitley said: “Even when critics disagree with his judicial view, his value system has never been questioned.”
“Lending shoulder to completely unverified allegations coming from a disgruntled person with a not-so-glorious track record is aiding the process of destabilisation of the institution of the Chief Justice of India,” the Finance Minister said.
Hitting out at “institutional destabilisers,” the Finance Minister said, “The last few years have witnessed the consolidation of ‘institution destabilisers’ in a major way. Many of these destabilizers represent Left or ultra-Left views. They have no electoral base or popular support.”
Jaitley claimed that they have taken refuge in digital media and social media after being ousted from the mainstream media.
“They continue to believe in the old Marxian philosophy of ‘wrecking the system from within.’ They use free speech to destroy the judicial institution,” said the Finance Minister.
The Union Minister also alleged that “this section” exploits the judicial refrain of excessively using the power of contempt.
“They go public against individual judges, including the Chief Justice, when they fail to get a favourable order. They carry on social media campaigns against judges who write judgments adverse to them,” the Union Minister alleged.
“They have little regard for truth but masquerade as protectors of public interest. Their behaviour in courts is offensive both to the Bench and their opponents. They threaten walkouts if judges are in disagreement,” he said.
The Minister said that it is “regrettable” that a section of the Members of the Bar affiliated to the Congress party tends to join them.
“Frequent attempts are made to get some Parliamentarians to sign Motion of Impeachment against judges and even the Chief Justice on unsustainable grounds. What has always puzzled me is the Congress lending support to such fringe campaigns,” he said.
Insisting that India has witnessed a series of attacks by the ‘institution disruptors’ against judges who are unwilling to agree with them, the Finance Minister said: “It may not be an exaggeration to say that today both in Court and by creating an environment outside, a mass-intimidation of Judges is on.”
He also alleged that some of the lawyers were using this intimidatory behaviour as a tactic to expand their practice.
“An intimidated judge can fear consequences of a possible view that he is taking. It is, therefore, essential that all well-meaning persons stand with the judicial institution when destabilisers get ready for an assault,” said the Union Minister.
Jaitley said that if those who peddle falsehood to destroy the institution are not dealt with in an exemplary manner, this trend will only accelerate.
“Since the case relating to this is pending in judicial side before the Bench of a Court, we should leave it to the wisdom of the Court as to how they intend to deal with it. But let it be remembered that this is not the first case of the ‘institutional destabilizers’ nor will it be the last,” he said.
“If those who peddle falsehood to destroy the institution are not dealt with in an exemplary manner, this trend will only accelerate,” he said.
The Special Bench of the Supreme Court on Saturday met for a special sitting to discuss online media reports of sexual harassment allegations against Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, saying that independence of the judiciary is under “very serious threat” and there is a “larger conspiracy” to destabilise the judiciary.
"The independence of the judiciary is under very serious threat and there is a larger conspiracy to destabilise the judiciary," the Bench had said. (ANI)