Congress onslaught on judiciary

The Congress appears intent to destroy the reputation of the highest court of the land, the Supreme Court. The process began from the time it waded into a controversy involving certain judges of the apex court a few months ago. The Congress should have allowed the learned judges to resolve the issue among themselves.

Later it decided to move an impeachment motion against the Chief Justice of India — in itself unprecedented. After the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha rejected the motion which had been signed by more than 50 members of the House, the party approached the Supreme Court for redressal. But when the court set up a Bench to take up the plea, the Congress withdrew its petition claiming that the process of constituting the Bench had been non-transparent.

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It demanded to see the order for establishing the Bench. It has perhaps never happened before that the lawyer for one of the litigants wanted to see the administrative order of the top court that leads to the setting up of a Bench. The Congress argued that since the Chief Justice of India was himself the target of impeachment, it had the right to know who passed the order. In other words, it questioned the right of the CJI to constitute the Bench. This is bizarre, since it is clear that the Congress is out for forum shopping. It wants a Bench of its choice. The party’s distrust in the judiciary is shocking.

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It is well established that the Chief Justice of India is the master of the roster and he alone can decide on the constitution of a Bench. If the Congress believes that he has no moral right to do in the impeachment case, then who else could have set up the Bench? Should the CJI have left the matter to the senior-most judge? But, by the Congress’s logic, even that would be suspect, given that the senior-most judge along with three others had weeks ago come out openly against the CJI, while addressing a Press meet. It can be counter-argued that the senior-most judge too would be biased. Most legal experts have slammed the Congress’s attempt as motivated and designed to weaken the institution of the judiciary to achieve its parochial ends. The Congress is now reportedly exploring the possibility of challenging the constitution of the Bench itself. Clearly, it does not want the issue to die out or settle.

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