By NVONews.Com Correspondent,
New Delhi: A few days after the Supreme Court judgement, which is likely to have impact on the Bharatiya Janata Party’s campaign, be it on Coalgate or 2G Spectrum case, the saffron party on Sunday came out with a surprising proposal. In fact it contradicted its own practice.
Addressing a programme organised by the party’s legal cell the BJP president Nitin Gadkari called for a two-year cooling off period before judges are considered for post-retirement posts, suggesting that the present system adversely affected the independence of the judiciary vis-à-vis the government.
He criticized what he said the growing tendency among several judges on the verge of retirement to speak and act friendly to the government with an eye on cushy government assignments just after retirement.
Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley, himself a senior lawyer, said this clamour for post-retirement jobs is adversely affecting the impartiality of the judiciary of the country and time has come that it should come to an end.
He called for a National Judicial Commission with representatives from the judiciary, government and society to look after matters related to appointment of judges and complaints against judges.
By demanding the cooling off period for judges the BJP leaders have, in a way, criticized the recent ruling of the Supreme Court.
Reacting to the statement Congress spokesman, Manish Tiwary said the BJP should have the conviction of saying things clearly instead of “casting aspersions by insinuation.”
Interestingly, demands were raised for the cooling off period for the Election Commissioner too.
However, political observers question the BJP’s stand on the issue. “How can it raise the issue of cooling off period for the judges when it took the former CAG, T N Chaturvedi, into the party fold immediately after retirement. Later he was made Rajya Sabha MP and governor of Karnataka by the Vajpayee government,” one of them asked.
As CAG of India it was Chaturvedi, whose report on Bofors, created storm in political circle and led to the decline of the Congress in 1989.
However, when in August last Congress general secretary, Digvijaya Singh, recalled how Chaturvedi joined the BJP immediately after retirement the former Comptroller and Auditor General and a retired IAS retorted: “There are no constitutional norms saying that a former CAG or a former Supreme Court judge cannot hold a political post. It is incorrect to attach motive to the CAG, saying that the report was given to take political mileage.”
What is strange is that Chaturvedi made this remark about the Supreme Court judges only on August 31. A month later on Sept 30 Gadkari and Jaitley has something else to say on the same issue.