Thursday, September 24, 2020
Home News Reports Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad points out how judiciary’s independence was compromised by the...

Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad points out how judiciary’s independence was compromised by the ‘ecosystem’ decades earlier

For the first time in the history of India, the Congress government had superseded three Supreme Court judges to appoint Justice A N Ray as the CJI who has opposed the basic structure doctrine in the Kesavananda Bharati case.

In an article written by Union Minister for Law and Justice and Communications and IT Ravi Shankar Prasad published in the Indian Express, he launched a scathing attack on the recent trend of the opposition of launching vicious attacks on the judiciary in order to undermine its credibility and at the same time resorting to motivated litigation to hamper the issues that are not to their liking. Prasad also remembered the famous seer HH Kesavananda Bharati who recently passed away. His petition had led to the passing of the landmark judgment delivered by a Bench of 13 judges that introduced the doctrine of basic structure. The Doctrine of Basic structure implies that there are certain fundamental of basic features in the Constitution that cannot be altered, even by way of a constitutional amendment.

In his article, Prasad gave a glimpse of the tainted ‘legacy’ of the Congress party which is full of attempts of muzzling the judiciary. Here are the highlights of his piece:

  • After the landmark judgment establishing the Basic Structure Doctrine in the Kesavananda Bharati, Justice Sikri retired the next day but contrary to the convention his successor was not announced before his retirement. For the first time in the history of India after independence, the office of the Chief Justice of India was filled by superseding the deserving judges. The three judges (Justices J M Shelat, K S Hegde and A N Grover) on the Bench who had supported the Basic Structure Doctrine were superseded by the Congress government and Justice A N Ray who had opposed the doctrine was made the Chief Justice of India.
  • Soon after Justice Ray was appointed as the CJI, another Bench was constituted to ‘review’ the decision in the Kesavananda Bharati case. (However, the proceeding was abandoned. No record of that review proceeding is found as there were restrictions on the press reporting of the judgments.)
  • Prasad was a student activist in the movement against corruption and misrule which was led by Loknayak Jayaprakash Narayan. After the Allahabad High Court verdict (delivered by Justice Jahgmohan Lal Sinha) which had set aside Indira Gandhi’s election to Lok Sabha, the Emergency was imposed resulting in the arrest of opposition leaders. An amendment was then passed to validate Indira Gandhi’s election retrospectively and was even upheld by the Supreme Court.
  • A large number of arrests were made during the Emergency including arrests of politicians and newspaper editors. Even the High Court judges who had upheld the freedom of the people who were detained, were not confirmed. In the infamous ADM Jabalpur case, wherein the majority of judges had held that individual liberty could be suspended during the Emergency, Justice H R Khanna emerged as the sole dissenting voice upholding individual liberty. However, this cost him the position of the CJI. The Congress government once again superseded Justice Khanna who was the senior-most judge and appointed Justice Beg as the CJI.
  • Prasad mentioned that some of the leaders in the top brass of the BJP including PM Modi, Vice President Venkaiah Naidu, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, late Sushma Swaraj, late Arun Jaitley, current BJP President JP Nadda and himself had suffered while opposing the Emergency.
  • Attacking the Congress party, he said that the people who now run motivated campaigns expressing artificial concern for the independence of the judiciary have an ideological heritage of celebrating the superseding of judges and justifying the atrocities of the Emergency. On the other hand, the top leaders in the present government have a legacy of standing up for freedom of individuals, freedom of media and the independence of the judiciary.
  • Prasad also mentioned how a senior sitting judge of the Supreme Court (Justice P N Bhagwati) had written a congratulatory letter to Indira Gandhi on her coming to power in 1980.
  • The landmark judgment of the Supreme Court in the Shah Bano case which empowered the Muslim women was nullified by Rajiv Gandhi while PM Modi showed immense commitment by introducing the law against triple talaq after the Supreme Court judgment declaring the practice of triple talaq as unconstitutional.
  • He said that his party and the government is committed to the independence of the judiciary and are proud of the extraordinary legacy of the Supreme Court and the High Courts in pursuit of freedom, empowerment, equity and containment of corruption.
  • Pointing out the challenges to the independence of the judiciary in current times, Prasad explained how Public Interest Litigations (PILs) are filed and social media campaigns are launched to pressurise the judiciary into delivering the judgment of their liking. If the judgment is not as per their liking then a vicious campaign is launched against the judiciary which is an expression of the “my way or the highway” attitude in such people.
  • Comparing the Congress legacy with the rule of the current government, Prasad said that a number of adverse judgments have been delivered by the Supreme Court since the current government came to power including the judgment against the National Judicial Appointment Commission (NJAC), setting aside of President rule in Uttarakhand and ordering a floor test, another similar judgment ordering floor test in Karnataka and a similar intervention in the case of Arunachal Pradesh Assembly.
  • He also listed some of the petitions pending before the Supreme Court against the government’s decision of abrogating Article 370 and passing the Citizenship Amendment Act as well as the frequent directions by the court in the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. He said that certain people are disappointed as there are no allegations of corruption against the government these days which was the other way round under the UPA government.
  • He termed the unsuccessful attempts of the Congress Party to impeach the sitting CJI with the help of senior lawyers close Congress party and the subsequent petition after the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha refused to grant sanction of impeachment as the biggest blot o the independence of judiciary in recent times.
  • Prasad concluded by warning the opposition not to try to control the polity and governance through ‘collusive cases’ in the Supreme Court and other courts.

- Advertisement -

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

Related Articles

Trending now

Monsoon session of Lok Sabha concludes, becomes the most productive session in the history with productivity rate of 167%

September 20 was the most productive day of the current session 17th Lok Sabha with 234 per cent of productivity.

Rana Ayyub lies again, this time while writing an ode to the old lady protestor at Shaheen Bagh for Time’s 100 most influential people...

Rana has written that Shaheen Bagh protestor 'Bilkis' was sitting to protest against the CAA that could "block Muslims from citizenship".

Deepika Padukone, Sara Ali Khan, three others summoned by NCB in Bollywood drug probe

Deepika’s name had emerged in the drug abuse probe earlier this week after her WhatsApp conversations went viral.

BJP govt must be careful about ecosystem trying to engineer price rises

BJP government needs to watch out about what comes next. The so called “age of controls” may be over, but the mentality of that era might not be.

No coercive step against Facebook exec for ‘role’ in Delhi riots, says Delhi Assembly panel after SC sends notice

Dehi Assembly panel had sent summons to Facebook India head Atul Mohan alleging ‘deliberate inaction’ by the social media giant against alleged hate speech that ‘culminated in the Delhi riots’

Complaint filed against William Dalrymple for flouting visa norms, trying to interfere in India’s internal affairs

Supreme Court advocate and author Monika Arora has stated that William Dalrymple has violated visa norms by trying to interfere in India's democratic process and trample on her freedom of expression.

Recently Popular

‘Are your breasts real? Can I touch?’ Actress Sherlyn Chopra accuses KWAN talent agency co-founder of sexual misconduct

Bollywood actress Sherlyn Chopra on Tuesday took to Twitter to call out sexual misconduct of KWAN talent agency co-founder Anirban Blah.

Nikhil Dwivedi, filmmaker and director of talent agency owned by Salman Khan, claims latter did not buy stakes in KWAN. Read details

Uniworld Big Talent (UBT) owned by Salman Khan, holds major stakes in Big Bang Media Venture, the holding company which owns KWAN.

KWAN representative told me that I need to attend Karan Johar Parties to make a comeback to movies: Suchitra Krishnamoorthi

One of the main things is that you need to be seen at Karan Johar's parties, KWAN representative had told Suchitra Krishnamoorthi

NCB summons KWAN Agency CEO. Did you know Anurag Kashyap aide and film producer Madhu Mantena co-founded KWAN as well as Phantom films

Interestingly, until now, all the big Bollywood names which have emerged in the NCB's probe have links with KWAN Agency

Mumbai Police made actress Payal Ghosh wait till 2 AM, did not file sexual assault complaint against Anurag Kashyap: Reports

The BMC declared her society a containment zone to prevent the actress from filing a complaint.

Casting director of Rhea Chakraborty’s debut film ‘Jalebi’ among 10 Bollywood personalities to have died in the past few months. Read the details here

A post containing the list of recent deaths of Bollywood celebs and the alleged reasons behind their deaths is being widely shared.

Monsoon session of Lok Sabha concludes, becomes the most productive session in the history with productivity rate of 167%

September 20 was the most productive day of the current session 17th Lok Sabha with 234 per cent of productivity.

Former Amnesty India head Aakar Patel arrested for tweets on PM Narendra Modi, BJP-RSS and Ghanchi caste; released on bail

Aakar Patel was arrested by Surat Police on a complaint filed by BJP MLA from Surat West constituency Purnesh Modi

Minister of State for Railways Suresh Angadi succumbs to Coronavirus

Minister of State for Railways Suresh Angadi passed away at the AIIMS in New Delhi, he had tested positive for Coronavirys on 11 Septemter

Properties made available for sale or rent only to Muslims appear on several real estate portals

Even in a cosmopolitan city such as Mumbai, bigoted homeowners actively discriminate between tenants.

KWAN representative told me that I need to attend Karan Johar Parties to make a comeback to movies: Suchitra Krishnamoorthi

One of the main things is that you need to be seen at Karan Johar's parties, KWAN representative had told Suchitra Krishnamoorthi

CBI carries out multiple raids along India-Bangladesh border; BSF officer and 3 others booked in illegal cattle trade case

A BSF officer along with 3 others booked by the CBI in connection with the illegal cattle trade along India-Bangladesh border

Pakistan plans to turn illegally occupied Gilgit-Baltistan into a province; the decision to benefit China and CPEC

Pakistan government have received support from all parties to convert Gilgit Baltistan into a full province of the country

Rana Ayyub lies again, this time while writing an ode to the old lady protestor at Shaheen Bagh for Time’s 100 most influential people...

Rana has written that Shaheen Bagh protestor 'Bilkis' was sitting to protest against the CAA that could "block Muslims from citizenship".

Nepali Youths protest outside the Chinese embassy in Kathmandu against Chinese construction on Nepali territory in Humla

China has reportedly constructed multiple buildings in the Humla region of Nepal and the Chinese troops are staying in them.

Kerala govt to take action against media houses alleging defamatory reports on state secretariat fire incident

Apart from filing case under CrPC, Kerala govt will also complain against media with the Press Council alleging defaming reports

Connect with us

244,181FansLike
454,956FollowersFollow
16,600SubscribersSubscribe