Congress using impeachment as a political tool: Jaitley

 Arun Jaitley on Friday accused the Congress party of trivialising the power of impeachment and using it as a political tool. PTI File Photo

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Friday said that Congress move to impeach the CJI is a “revenge petition” after the SC verdict on Judge B H Loya death case.

In a Facebook post, Jaitley said that the impeachment of a judge of the Supreme Court is to be done only in the case of either his incapacity or on proven misconduct but the Congress party and its friends have started using impeachment as a “political tool”.

“My preliminary reaction to the impeachment motion filed today is clear. It is a revenge petition after the falsehood of the Congress Party has been established in the Justice Loya death case. It is an attempt to intimidate a Judge and send a message to other Judges, that if you don’t agree with us, fifty MP’s are enough for a revenge action," he wrote.

He said the verdict in the Judge Loya death case “exposes every facet of the conspiracy to generate falsehood” as propaganda in the public and political space.

“Never ever so blatantly in the past have national political parties, a few retired judges and some senior lawyers so closely identified themselves with the generation of falsehood that they almost come out as conspirators. A detailed analysis of the facts and the role played by some groups is necessary since I suspect such attempts will also be made in the future,” Jaitley said.

He also voiced his anguish at four senior-most Supreme Court judges holding a press conference against the CJI in January. Jaitley said if intimidatory tactics of “institution disruptors” and impeachment motion are threats to judicial independence, the single greatest threat is the divided court itself.

“Now that the conspiracy of the falsehood of the Judge Loya death case stands conclusively established, a few thoughts come to my mind. The four judges of the Supreme Court who held the controversial press conference, are all experienced judges and in my view men of high integrity. Had they checked up the facts of Judge Loya case before commenting on it, even though only on a listing issue?”

“Is the impeachment motion filed today a direct result of the press conference? Does this impeachment set a precedent that political parties in India will use impeachment as an instrument to intimidate judges hearing controversial matters? What has happened today is a price the Indian judiciary has to pay for misadventures of many,” he said.

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