Political rivals use the court to settle scores, says CJI Bobde
Political parties are using courts as platforms to wage political battles and settle political scores, rued Chief Justice of India (CJI) SA Bobde.
“We are cognizant of the fact that opposing parties use court as a forum to [settle political scores], both sides”, said CJI Bobde.
His remarks came during the hearing of a public interest litigation (PIL) petition filed by advocate and Bharatiya Janata Party Spokesperson Gaurav Bhatia seeking a Central Bureau of Investigation probe into the death of a BJP worker Dulal Kumar in Purulia, West Bengal.
Kumar was found hanging from a power transmission tower in June 2018.
Bhatia said that it was disturbing that a First Information Report was not registered (by the police) despite the complaint naming six accused. He attributed political motives to the inaction of the state police in the Trinamool Congress ruled state since the murdered person was a BJP worker.
Senior advocate Kapil Sibal appearing for the state government told the court that 73 witnesses were examined and it emerged that the killing was a result of an extra-marital affair.
Sibal also questioned the propriety of Bhatia, a BJP worker, approaching the court by way of a public interest litigation.
The CJI said that the court is aware that it is being used by political parties as a platform to settle political scores.
He also asked both Sibal and Bhatia to take their political battles to TV channels.
The court asked the West Bengal government to respond to an application by the slain BJP worker’s family seeking impleadment in the case and probe the murder.
Bhatia in his petition sought a CBI investigation into the killing of Purulia and two other BJP workers, Trilochan Mahato and Shaktipada Sardar.
The Court, in an order passed on March 26, 2019 expressed satisfaction over the probe into the death of Mahato and Sarkar and disposed of the petition to the extent of their killings. It, however, kept the petition pending with respect to the death of Dulal Kumar.
Bhatia could not be reached for comment and did not respond to text messages.
Senior Trinamool Congress leader, also a minister in the West Bengal government, Tapas Roy welcomed the observation of the CJI.
“The CJI has rightly said that courts are being used to settle political scores. The Supreme Court had earlier expressed satisfaction at the police investigation. The court’s remarks add credence to the law and order situation in Bengal,” said Roy, who is also a lawyer.