Judge consented to transfer, says Ravi Shankar Prasad, hammers Cong
The Law Minister said the Congress had displayed its “scant regard for the judiciary” by politicising a routine transfer.
Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Thursday responded sharply to the Congress criticism over the transfer of Justice S Muralidhar from the Delhi High Court hours after he roasted Delhi Police for not acting against hate speeches.
Prasad said the transfer was ordered on the recommendation of the Supreme Court collegium headed by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde and was carried out with the “consent of the judge”.
“The well settled process has been followed,” Ravi Shankar Prasad said in a string of tweets before launching a sharp counterattack at the Congress that has linked the judge’s transfer to his biting criticism of Delhi Police at a hearing on Wednesday.
Prasad said the Congress had displayed its “scant regard for the judiciary” by politicising a routine transfer. “People of India have rejected the Congress Party, and hence it is hell bent on destroying the very institutions India cherishes by constantly attacking them,” he tweeted.
Moments earlier, Congress leader Randeep Surjewala had called the transfer “a classic hit-and-run injustice by the BJP government. “Justice Muralidhar was hearing cases against BJP leaders who have made inflammatory speeches. This has exposed the politics of revenge and pressure practiced by the BJP,” Surjewala told the news conference.
Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra had set the tone early in the day in a tweet, stressing that the midnight transfer of Justice Muralidhar wasn’t shocking given the current dispensation but was certainly sad and shameful. “Millions of Indians have faith in a resilient & upright judiciary, the government’s attempts to muzzle justice & break their faith are deplorable,” she said.
In his five-tweet response, the law minister also targeted the Gandhi family also. “The Party, which is the private property of one family, has no right to lecture about objectionable speeches. The family & it’s cronies have routinely used the harshest words against the Courts, the Army, the CAG, the PM and the people of India,” he said.
Prasad said those raising questions about the transfer “do not respect the judgment of the Apex Court pronounced after elaborate arguments”, a reference to the Congress questioning the circumstances around Judge Loya’s death despite the Supreme Court holding that there was no need to probe his death due to natural causes.