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  India   Politics  22 Apr 2019  Arun Jaitley targets ‘disruptors’, stands by CJI

Arun Jaitley targets ‘disruptors’, stands by CJI

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Apr 22, 2019, 1:38 am IST
Updated : Apr 22, 2019, 1:38 am IST

The SC held an extraordinary hearing on Saturday after a former employee of the court accused the CJI of sexual harassment and persecution.

Finance minister Arun Jaitley (Photo: ANI)
 Finance minister Arun Jaitley (Photo: ANI)

New Delhi: A day after allegations of sexual harassment surfaced against Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, finance minister Arun Jaitley on Sunday accused “institutional disruptors” of destabilising the institution of the CJI by lending their shoulder to unverified allegations against the head of the court. In a blog “It’s Time to Stand Up With the Judiciary”, Mr Jaitley suggested those peddling falsehoods should be dealt in an exemplary manner.

The Supreme Court held an extraordinary hearing on Saturday after a former employee of the court accused the CJI of sexual harassment and persecution.

 

“In terms of personal decency, values, ethics and integrity, the present Chief Justice of India is extremely well regarded. Even when critics disagree with his judicial view, his value system has never been questioned. Lending shoulder to completely unverified allegations coming from a disgruntled person with a not-so-glorious track record is aiding the process of destabilisation of the institution of Chief Justice of India,” wrote the senior BJP leader. He said that if those who “peddle falsehoods to destroy the institution are not dealt with in an exemplary manner, this trend will only accelerate”.

The incident of a former junior woman employee of the Supreme Court levelling harassment charges against the CJI has acquired a “disproportionate magnitude”, Mr Jaitley said. “Such complaints, when they are made in the ordinary course of any administrative functioning, are referred to the appropriate committee. However, when the complainant distributes copies of her representation to other judges of the Supreme Court and the media to sensationalise her allegations, it ceases to be routine... When four digital media organisations with an unparalleled track record of ‘institutional disruption’ send similar questionnaires to the Chief Justice of India, there is obviously something more than what meets the eye,” the minister wrote.

 

Regretting that the past few years have witnessed the consolidation of “institutional destabilisers” in a major way, Mr Jaitley said: “Many of these destabilisers represent Left or ultra-Left views. They have no electoral base or popular support. However, they still have a disproportionate presence in the media and academia. When ousted (from the) mainstream media, they have taken refuge in the digital and social media.” He also wrote that even though most of them “subscribe to fringe ideologies and ideas, it is regrettable that a section of members of the Bar affiliated to the Congress Party tend to join them.”

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Tags: sexual harassment, ranjan gogoi, arun jaitley