Demand for probe into Katju's charges, timing questioned

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Demand for probe into Katju's charges
New Delhi, Jul 21: There were mixed reactions from parties to Markandey Katju's charge that three ex-Chief Justices of India had compromised in giving extension and elevation to an additional judge of Madras High Court at UPA government's instance, with some including AIADMK demanding a probe while others questioned the timing of his disclosure.

AIADMK members in Lok Sabha sought an enquiry into the allegations by former Supreme Court judge Katju, who is now Press Council of India chairperson, charging DMK and the erstwhile UPA government with "interfering" in the appointment of judge. "It is a serious matter ... the previous government and the DMK interfered in the appointment of a corrupt judge," AIADMK leader M Thambidurai said during Zero Hour today, demanding a probe by the government into the allegations.

BSP chief Mayawati termed the charges as serious and demanded a probe into them. "The allegations levelled by Katju are serious and I think they should be investigated. If there is any element of truth in them, there should be action. There should not be any political interference in the appointment of judges," she told reporters.

FMR CJI Balakrishnan rejects Katju's charges

Congress leaders trashed the allegations, saying they had no relevance and it was just an attempt by Katju to remain in news and "come close to the present government".

"After more than a decade, you are raising this issue....It has no relevance. I take it as an attempt to defame judiciary," party leader Rajiv Shukla said.

Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut and D Raja of CPI questioned the timing of allegations and wondered what Katju did when the alleged corrupt judge was elevated.

"Everybody knows about corruption in judiciary. If Katju had exposed it then, the point he is making now would have been more forceful. Now after so many years, after you have retired, after the government has changed, there is no significance in what he has said. He should have spoken then," Raut said. 

PTI

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