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HindustanTimes Sun,28 Dec 2014

Madras HC judge appointment: Cong puts ball in govt's court

PTI  New Delhi New Delhi, July 23, 2014
First Published: 20:32 IST(23/7/2014) | Last Updated: 20:39 IST(23/7/2014)

Congress on Wednesday sought to take the battle over the appointment of a Madras High Court judge into the government's court by accusing it of creating an atmosphere against the Supreme Court Collegium by "humiliating" it.

It also faulted the BJP for not cooperating with the UPA in passage of a bill that sought to scrap the present Collegium system of appointing judges.

"We also believe in transparency in appointments, but not by humiliating Collegium which the present government is doing on one pretext or another", party General Secretary Shakeel Ahmed told reporters.

Alleging that the current controversy has been "engineered by the present government" to humiliate the Collegium, he said there are insinuations in political circles that "very important and influential people in the government" are involved.

Asked about the talk that Justice Markandey Katju has deliberately spread the controversy to seek an extension as Chairman of the Press Council of India, he said Justice Katju is an outspoken person. At the same time, he also said "I will not subscribe... We are also surprised why he has spoken after ten long years".

He said that when the UPA had sought to bring a bill for setting up a Judicial Commission for appointment of judges, BJP had not cooperated in the exercise.

At the same time, he distanced the party from the erstwhile UPA Government on the issue of extension to the Madras High Court judge facing corruption charges.

"Communication between the Collegium and the government has nothing to do with the party", he said.

Asked whether the controversy was being spread in view of the Chief Justice of India R M Lodha taking government to task in the case of appointment of Gopal Subramaniam as Supreme Court judge, he said he does not know the reason. " It is for others to speculate".


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