Solicitor General calls govt critics 'prophet of doom'

Solicitor General terms those criticising govt as 'prophet of doom'

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Solicitor General Tushar Mehta on Thursday took potshot at those critical of the government's efforts in bringing relief to lakhs of migrant workers, by terming them as "prophets of doom".

During the hearing in a Suo Motu matter on plight of migrants, he vehemently asked the Supreme Court not to let senior advocates Kapil Sibal, A M Singhvi, Indira Jaising and Colin Gonsalves make submission on behalf of intervenors and others.

"For these arm chair intellectuals, lordships are neutral only if they abuse the executive. If a handful of people want to control the institution, then it will become an ADM Jabalpur incident (when SC did not uphold personal liberty during emergency). All these people wanting to intervene need to apply the vulture and child story," he said.

Mehta said before a bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, Sanjay Kishan Kaul and M R Shah that these people should speak only if they proved their credentials.

"The question to ask is: what have they contributed? Your lordships must ask them to file an affidavit on their contribution? Except for writing on social media, penning articles, giving interviews? People are working tirelessly, from the safai karamcharis to the PM," he said.

Mehta asked the court not to let anyone use this platform to become a political platform. He also referred to the letter sent by a group of senior advocates, including Sibal, Chidambaram and Jaising. 

On this, the bench said, "People who have been part of the institution, if they believe they can run down the institution it is unfortunate. We have to go by our conscience."

Mehta also pointed out, "Some High Courts are running a parallel government." Sibal, for his part, maintained, "It (the issue) is a humanitarian crisis. It has got nothing to do with politics."

Mehta said the Centre is doing a lot to prevent COVID-19 but there are "prophets of doom in the country who only spread negativity, negativity, negativity. These arm chair intellectuals do not recognise the nation's effort".

He also mentioned story of a photographer who went to Sudan in 1983 and clicked a picture of a child being eaten by a vulture. The photo published in NYT won Pulitzer prize but the photographer committed suicide after four months.

"A journalist had asked the photographer as to what happened to the child? He said I don’t know, I had to return home. Then the reporter asked him how many vultures were there? He said one. The reporter said - no. There were two. One was holding the camera," Mehta said.

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