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BJP slams bhardwaj

Jaitley held that “the government may appoint judges but their removal depends on Parliament, which has the power to impeach them.

india Updated: Feb 03, 2009 01:03 IST
Shekhar Iyer
Shekhar Iyer
Hindustan Times

Law Minister H.R. Bhardwaj’s rap of CEC N. Gopalaswami on the ground that he has no power to recommend EC member Navin Chawla’s removal drew sharp retort from the BJP, which asked him to stop “misreading the Constitution.”

Questioning Bhardwaj’s argument that as the government is the appointing authority of ECs and by that virtue also the dismissing one, BJP general secretary Arun Jaitley said: “He should know that principle does not apply to judges, CEC and ECs to protect their independence. If you allow a political authority to decide dismissal, where is the independence of these institutions?”

Jaitley held that “the government may appoint judges but their removal depends on Parliament, which has the power to impeach them. That is in the case of CEC too who enjoys the same status as a judge. But in the case of ECs, the Constitution is clear it shall be the CEC who will recommend their removal."

First Published: Feb 03, 2009 01:03 IST