- Agencies, New Delhi BJP leader Arun Jaitley today accused Press Council of India (PCI) Chairman Markandey Katju of attacking non-Congress governments in Bihar, Gujarat and West Bengal on the basis of ‘his political preferences’ and asked him to step down from his post.
Mr Jaitley said a person holding the post in the PCI must be impartial. In an article on the BJP website, Mr Jaitley said Katju’s attacks ‘seem more in the nature of thanks-giving to those who provided him with a post retirement job’. The leader of the opposition in the Rajya Sabha said Katju had over the past week released a draft report on behalf of the Press Council of India (PCI) alleging that the media in Bihar was not independent. He followed it up with an article in an English daily attacking the Gujarat government and Chief Minister Narendra Modi. ‘Though initially known for his scholarship, Justice Katju was never a conventional judge.
His utterances, both during his tenure as a judge and thereafter, are clearly outlandish,’ Mr Jaitley said. ‘Dignified comment is alien to him.’ Mr Jaitley said judges of the Supreme Court and high courts must not be eligible for jobs in the government after retirement. ‘In some cases the pre-retirement judicial conduct of a judge is influenced by the desire to get a post retirement assignment,’ he said. ‘The chairman of the Press Council discharges a statutory job. His job requires fairness, impartiality and political neutrality.
‘Additionally, a judge, whether sitting or retired, is expected to conduct himself with sobriety, dignity and grace. He cannot be loud, crude, outlandish or behave like a megalomaniac,’ Mr Jaitley said. He said a judge should refrain from involvement in political controversies. If he desires to get into political activity or a political debate, he should cease to hold his judicial or quasi-judicial office. Justice Katju, in return, hit back at Mr Jaitley charging him with distorting facts and asked him to quit politics.
Katju hits back
Agencies, New Delhi: Hitting back at BJP leader Arun Jaitley for accusing him of attacking non-Congress Governments, Press Council of India Chairman Justice Markandey Katju today alleged him of ‘twisting facts’ and advised to consider retiring from politics.
Speaking to reporters Justice Katju said, ‘’he is twisting facts. He must consider to retire from politics as he is talking rubbish.’’ ‘’I am not selective on non-Congress Governments. I have criticised Congress-ruled states as well. I sent notices to the Maharashtra government when two girls were arrested for their post on Facebook. I have also spoken on Aseem Trivedi cartoon controversy,’’ he said making a point against Mr Jaitley.
Accusing Mr Jaitley of distorting facts, he said the BJP leader is saying that my report was against the Bihar Government, which is a lie. It was not me who prepared the report but a three-member team has submitted a draft report on Bihar that media was not independent and working under pressure of Nitish Kumar Government.
In an article on the BJP website, Mr Jaitley said Katju’s attacks ‘’seem more in the nature of thanks-giving to those
who provided him with a post retirement job.’’
He also accused him non-Congress governments in Bihar,
Gujarat and West Bengal on the basis of ‘his political preferences’ and asked him to step down from his post.
Mr Jaitley said a person holding the post in the PCI must