In a bizzare demand, a former Gujarat lokayukta and former high court judge has written to the Chief Justice of India asking him not to allow sensitive cases related to the state to be heard in the Supreme Court by any judge having a “communal mindset.”
Justice SM Soni, who was a judge of the Gujarat HC and after his retirement was appointed as the lokayukta, has raked up the issue in a 10-page letter to CJI Justice SH Kapadia. He wants the letter to be treated as a public interest litigation.
“It is palpably visible that almost every politically sensitive matter relating to Gujarat is coming before a bench headed by a particular judge and every judgment delivered by him ...is repeatedly and consistently found in favour of the minority community... Even the disparaging remarks made in the open court reveal an apparent bias,” Justice Soni wrote.
Asked for the reason on how he reached such a strange conclusion since he himself has a judicial background, Justice Soni told HT: “The letter is self-explanatory and I will not speak anything on the matter beyond confirming that it contains my views, till I receive a response from the CJI.”
“The general feeling among legal fraternity and the people at large in Gujarat is that the state is being targeted by the Supreme Court judge with a single mandate of siding with the minority community. This apprehension hits at the heart of the justice,” he wrote.
Justice Soni has argued in his letter that the Supreme Court sets precedents for courts all over the country and leads by conduct. “Justice expected to be dispensed with should be beyond ideologies, communal preferences and personal beliefs,” he stated.
“The Supreme Court exists for the people of the country and targeting any section or state as a crusader for any community does not show it in good light,” he wrote. He has demanded that the CJI should reconstitute the bench.