Influencing Judge : MPs demand statement by Manmohan Singh

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New Delhi, July 31 (ANI): A group of MPs from Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), All Indian Anna Dravida Munnetra Tazagam (AIADMK) and Left Parties belonging to both the Houses of Parliament on Friday demanded a statement from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the issue of a Union Minister allegedly trying to influence a Judge of the Madras High Court.

In a memorandum submitted to Manmohan Singh by 85 MPs of Lok Sabha and 95 from Rajya Sabha stated that, he should investigate the matter and make a statement in both the Houses of Parliament.

Justice R Regupathy of the Madras High Court had made a statement in the open court that a Union Minister had telephoned him in a matter concerning a mark sheet forgery scam that was investigated by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley, CPI (M) leader Brinda Karat, AIADMK leader M Thambi Durai, D Raja of CPI and Dr Maitren of AIDMK were among others in the delegation.

Speaking to reporters after meeting Manmohan Singh, BJP MP Chandan Mitra said, Singh has assured the MPs that he would get back to them after examining the memorandum.

The Prime Minister told the delegation that after the Chief Justice of India's clarification that no Union Minister had spoken to the judge, how could the government interfere in issues relating to the judiciary, Mitra informed the reporters.

The memorandum states that "According to reports, the judge has subsequently clarified that the minister had not spoken to him directly but that the lawyer appearing in the case on behalf of the accused had come to his chamber and informed him that the Union Minister would like to speak to him and even dialled the number to facilitate the conversation."

Assuming the clarification of the judge to be correct, it is still an attempt to interfere in the judicial process by the alleged minister, memorandum states.

"In the interests of upholding the principal of independence of the judiciary enshrined in the Constitution, as well as the highest standards of probity in public life, the people of the country do expect you to act in the matter. We request you to give a statement in both Houses on the issue and to take appropriate action in the matter," the memorandum added. (ANI)

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