AAP faces flak for criticising Justice Manjunath

The Congress and the JD(S) MPs from the State on Tuesday criticised the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) for targeting Justice K L Manjunath and urged Chief Justice of India H L Dattu and President of India Pranab Mukherjee to take a serious note of the efforts being made to tarnish the judiciary in the country.

Addressing a joint press conference, D K Suresh, Mudduhanume Gowda, B N Chandrappa (all Congress), Kupendra Reddy and C S Puttaraju (JD-S) said a probe should be ordered to ascertain the real motives of people who are trying to malign the judiciary.

Mudduhanume Gowda said Justice Manjunath had maintained unblemished character through his career. He is now poised to become the Chief Justice of the Punjab High Court, but the AAP MPs from Punjab have started a signature campaign seeking impeachment of the judge, making certain allegations. “This leads to many suspicions. He (Justice Manjunath) is being targeted because he is from Karnataka. This is nothing but character assassination,” he added.

Suresh said a judge can be impeached only on the grounds of misbehaviour and incapacity. The Supreme Court has already given a clean chit to Justice Manjunath after conducting an internal probe. Allegations against the judge is an assault on judicial independence, he added. The MPs have defended the judge a day after AAP convenor of Karnataka unit, Ravi Krishna Reddy, took exception to political leaders who had criticised the move seeking impeachment. Reddy had alleged that the judge had amassed wealth disproportionate to his known sources of income.

Suresh alleged that similar attempts were made in the past to prevent Justice Gopala Gowda from becoming the chief justice of the Karnataka High Court. This has been happening for many years against the Karnataka judges. The issue will be raised in the coming session of Parliament, if necessary, he added.

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