NEW DELHI — Apparently emboldened by the Ayodhya remarks of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, senior RSS leader Indresh Kumar has directly slammed the Supreme Court bench led by Chief Justice for delaying the hearing in the Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi title suit. He even suggested that the judges should resign “if they are not ready to deliver justice early”.
The three-judge bench led by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi last month deferred the hearing in the Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi title suit till January 2019. Saffron groups including RSS and BJP have since gone in offensive drive over the issue.
“I haven’t taken names because 125 crore Indians know their names… the three-judge bench… they delayed, they denied, they disrespected,” Indresh was quoted as saying by The Indian Express. He then went on to say “will the country be so handicapped” that it lets “two-three” judges “throttle its beliefs, democracy, Constitution and fundamental rights”. The RSS leader was speaking a seminar titled ‘Janmabhoomi mein anyay kyun’, organised by the Joshi Foundation on the campus of the Panjab University on Tuesday.
In a remark that could be seen as a threat to judges, the RSS leader also claimed there was growing anguish against “two-three” judges.
“All are looking forward to justice. They still have belief… but the judiciary, judges and justice have been disrespected because of two-three judges… It should be heard early. What is the problem? Otherwise, a question arises: if they are not ready to deliver justice, they should think if they want to remain judges or resign,” said Indresh.
On Sunday, while addressing an election rally in Alwar of Rajasthan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had alleged that Congress leader scared judges with threat of impeachment resulting in the deferment of the hearing in the Ayodhya case. He made the statement on a day when saffron groups including VHP was doing a massive “Dharma Sabha” in Ayodhya to vow construction of Ram Temple on the disputed site.
“Jab Ayodhya ka case chal raha tha, Congress ke neta, Rajya Sabha ke sadasya kehte hain ki 2019 tak case mat chalao kyunki 2019 mein chunaav hai. Desh ke nyayatantra ko is prakaar se rajneeti mein ghaseetna uchit hai kya? (When Ram temple case was being heard, Congress leader and a Rajya Sabha member said don’t hear it till 2019 as the country will go to polls in the year. Is it fair to drag country’s judiciary into politics like this?),” the PM was quoted as saying by The Indian Express.
Without naming Congress MP Kapil Sibal, who was one of the lawyers from Muslim side in the pending Ayodhya case in Supreme Court, PM Modi alleged that the Congress delays the Ram temple hearing by using scare tactics.
“Jab SC ka koi judge Ayodhya jaise gambheer samvedansheel maslo mein, desh ko nyaya dilane ki disha mein sabko sunna chahte hain to Congress ke Rajya Sabha ke vakeel SC ke nyaayamurtiyo ke khilaf impeachment la kar ke unko darate dhamkate hain (Whenever any SC judge wants to hear in the Ram temple case, the Congress’ Rajya Sabha lawyer used the threat of impeachment to “scare” judges),” he added.
Opposition parties including Congress and CPI-M had strongly criticized the PM for his Ayodhya remarks.
Senior Congress leader and Member of Rajya Sabha Kapil Sibal on Monday said Modi’s comments were “shameful” and “defamatory” towards the Supreme Court.
“This is defamatory towards the Supreme Court,” Sibal was quoted as saying by NDTV. Sibal was representing Muslim side in the case in the apex court till January this year.
Commenting on PM’s comments, Sibal said: “You (the Prime Minister) are defaming the Supreme Court. Are you trying to say that the Supreme Court can come under any political pressure? This is shameful. The Prime Minister should not give such statements.”
“Who is doing the scaring? What’s the VHP (right-wing Vishwa Hindu Parishad) doing in Ayodhya? They are creating an atmosphere of fear that’s providing political benefits to the PM,” Sibal said.
CPI-M General Secretary Sitaram Yechury also condemned PM Modi’s remarks on Ayodhya.
After weakening the Election Commission, CBI, CVC and other Constitutional bodies, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is now interfering with court proceedings which is extremely dangerous, CPI-M leader Sitaram Yechury said on Monday.
“The Prime Minister alleged that the Supreme Court is under pressure, that Opposition parties are interfering with the court proceedings. By saying this, the Prime Minister himself and the government are interfering with the court proceedings. This is a very dangerous trend,” Yechury told reporters.
He said: “The Prime Minister, during his election campaign, has threatened to subvert the legal process on the Ayodhya dispute. Out of frustration, Modi is making such undemocratic and unconstitutional comments.”
Yechury further said: “No one should make any comment on issues that are before the court. The Ayodhya dispute is a very sensitive issue. How can a Prime Minister make comments on an issue which is before the Supreme Court?”