Kejriwal on Monday dropped a bombshell by claiming there is widespread apprehension that judges' phones are being tapped. His allegation was promptly rejected by Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and later by Home Ministry officials.
Government today strongly denied allegations that telephones of some judges were being tapped saying all such reports were "baseless and unfounded".
"The Ministry of Home Affairs strongly denies media reports alleging tapping of telephones of some judges. There is no truth in these reports. These reports are baseless and unfounded," MHA spokesperson Kuldeep Singh Dhatwalia said in a statement. The denial came after Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal created ripples by alleging that there is a "widespread" fear that the phones of judges are being tapped and said if it is true, then it is the biggest assault on the independence of the judiciary.
Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has also denied the allegations, saying the independence of judiciary is fundamental and uncompromising for the Modi government. Kejriwal made the allegations while addressing the golden jubilee celebrations of Delhi High Court here in which Modi and Chief Justice of India T S Thakur were present.
The Union Home Secretary is the competent authority for sanctioning of tapping of telephones and all such orders have to be ratified later by a high-level committee headed by the Cabinet Secretary.
Kejriwal claimed during his meetings with judges he has "overheard them telling each other that they should not talk on phones because they could be tapped". The Chief Minister said when he told them the phones of judges cannot be tapped, "they retorted by saying that all phones could be tapped". "I don't know whether it is true or not but there is a widespread fear. If it is true that phones are tapped then judges can be influenced...," he said.
Addressing the golden jubilee celebrations of Delhi High Court here in which Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Justice of India T S Thakur also participated, he said even if there has been a wrong-doing by a judge then phone tapping should not be allowed. "There are many other ways to gather evidence for wrongdoing, otherwise it will be the biggest assault on the independence of the judiciary," he said.
Prasad, who spoke after Kejriwal, said, "I deny with all authority at command the allegations that phones of judges have been tapped." He said right from the prime minister to other ministers and the government, all have fought for the independence of judiciary and individual liberty and freedom of media during emergency.
"Independence of judiciary is fundamental, impeachable and uncompromising for the government," he said. Kejriwal also referred to the actions of judiciary as well as the executives which may take away the rights of the people. "If any action of the executive snatches the power of the people, if any judicial interpretation of the Constitution takes away power of the people then it is not good for democracy," he said.
Source: DNA India
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