If Justice Mishra is also given a plum position after his retirement, it will once again manifest the fact that the Indian judiciary is not working independently and it is tightly controlled by the Modi government.
By Rakesh Raman
A former India minister and rebel BJP leader Yashwant Sinha today ridiculed Justice Arun Mishra’s sycophancy for Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Supreme Court judge Justice Arun Mishra – who is known for his proximity to PM Modi – is retiring on Wednesday (September 2). He was also handling the controversial “contempt of court” cases of lawyer-activist Prashant Bhushan.
Yashwant Sinha suggested in a sarcastic tenor that after Mishra’s retirement, Modi should reward him for the judgments that he had given to favor Modi and his government.
“Justice Mishra of the SC (Supreme Court) is now retiring. Should his great talent and experience be wasted? Should not the ‘versatile genius’ who ‘thinks globally and acts locally’ think about utilizing his services? And it should be more than a mere RS (Rajya Sabha) seat,” Sinha tweeted.
Justice Mishra of the SC is now retiring. Should his great talent and experience be wasted? Should not the ‘versatile genius’ who ‘thinks globally and acts locally’ think about utilising his services? And it should be more than a mere RS seat.
— Yashwant Sinha (@YashwantSinha) August 31, 2020
He was referring to the adulatory comments made by Mishra for Modi. Speaking at the International Judicial Conference in February, Mishra, the third most senior judge in the Supreme Court, had described Modi as an “internationally acclaimed visionary”, and praised his “versatile genius to think globally and act locally.”
In response, the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) had issued a resolution to denounce Justice Mishra’s praise for Modi. In its statement, the SCBA said it has taken note with deep sense of anguish and concern the statement made by Mishra to praise Modi.
It added that SCBA believes that any such statement reflects poorly on the independence of the judiciary and so calls upon the judges not to make statements in future nor show any proximity or closeness to the Executive including higher functionaries.
The SCBA, according to the statement, also believes that such proximity and familiarity may impact the decision making process by the judges and may give rise to justifiable doubts in the minds of the litigants about the outcome.
Sinha emphasized that Modi should reward Mishra suitably for his sycophancy and favorable judgements, and the reward should be more than a mere Rajya Sabha (the upper house of India’s parliament) seat.
Earlier, a former Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi was given the Rajya Sabha seat by the Modi government. With his bias toward the Modi government, Gogoi – who retired in November 2019 – was largely working as a government spokesperson.
During his tenure, Gogoi – who was also an accused in a sextortion case – had completely tarnished the image of the Supreme Court which had been reduced to the level of a party office of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) headed by PM Modi.
As a judge, Gogoi was pronouncing judgments such as Ayodhya verdict and decision on Rafale corruption case to meet Modi’s expectations. In all autocratic regimes that work under the garb of democratic systems, the rulers silently use courts to impose their own decisions on citizens and suppress all kinds of dissent.
At last the woman employee who was sexually molested by CJI Gogoi and victimized along with her family has been reinstated.
There was no vice which was not in Ranjan Gogoi. And yet this rascal and rogue rose to become CJI. It speaks volumes about our judiciary.
— Markandey Katju (@mkatju) January 22, 2020
Justice Markandey Katju – a former Judge of the Supreme Court of India and former Chairman of Press Council of India – said, “At last the woman employee who was sexually molested by CJI Gogoi and victimized along with her family has been reinstated. There was no vice which was not in Ranjan Gogoi. And yet this rascal and rogue rose to become CJI. It speaks volumes about our judiciary.”
If Mishra is also given a plum position after his retirement, it will once again manifest the fact that the Indian judiciary is not working independently and it is tightly controlled by the Modi government.
By Rakesh Raman, who is a national award-winning journalist and social activist. He is the founder of a humanitarian organization RMN Foundation which is working in diverse areas to help the disadvantaged and distressed people in the society.
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