New Delhi: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley Sunday attacked the ‘institutional destabilizers’ saying that their lending shoulder to ‘completely unverified allegations’ was destabilising the institution of the Chief Justice of India and said that if those peddling ‘falsehood’ were not dealt with in an exemplary manner, the trend will only accelerate.
In a blog post, a day after allegations of sexual harassment surfaced against Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, Jaitley said the incident of a junior ex-lady employee of the Supreme Court making harassment charges has ‘acquired a disproportionate magnitude’.
“Such complaints, when they are made in the ordinary course of any administrative functioning, are referred to the appropriate committee. However, when the complainant distributes copies of her representation to other judges of the Supreme Court and the media in order to sensationalise her allegations, it ceases to be routine,” he said.
“When four digital media organisations with an unparalleled track record of ‘institutional disruption’ send similar questionnaires to the Chief Justice of India, there is obviously something more than what meets the eye,” he added.
In the blog ‘It’s Time to Stand up With the Judiciary’, Jaitley said India has always taken pride in its independent judiciary.
The CJI Saturday rubbished an allegation of sexual harassment against him, saying there was a ‘larger conspiracy’ to destabilize the independence of the judiciary, which, he said, is ‘under very serious threat’.
After the allegation levelled by a former employee of the Supreme Court was reported by a section of the media, a three-member bench of the apex court, headed by the Chief Justice and including Justice Arun Mishra and Justice Sanjeev Khanna, held an urgent hearing this morning — a holiday — over the matter.
Jaitley said that the present CJI is extremely well regarded in terms of personal decency, values, ethics and integrity.
“Even when critics disagree with his judicial view, his value system has never been questioned. Lending shoulder to completely unverified allegations coming from a disgruntled person with a not-so-glorious track record is aiding the process of destabilisation of the institution of the Chief Justice of India,” he said.
Jaitley said that reputation is an integral part of a person’s fundamental right to live with dignity. “An intimidated judge can fear consequences of a possible view that he is taking. It is, therefore, essential that all well-meaning persons stand with the judicial institution when destabilizers get ready for an assault.”
Jaitley said that the last few years have witnessed the consolidation of ‘institution destabilizers’ in a major way.
He said many of the ‘destabilisers represent Left or ultra-left views, have no electoral base or popular support but still have a disproportionate presence in the media and the academia’.
“When ousted for mainstream media, they have taken refuge in the digital and social media. They continue to believe in the old Marxian philosophy of ‘wrecking the system from within.’ They use free speech to destroy the judicial institution,” he said.