Sunday, September 02, 2007

Justice Sabharwal replies to charges

The Times of India has carried Justice Sabharwal's response to some of the allegations levelled against him by the Campaign for Judicial Accountability and Reforms. A response from Campaign for JAR,therefore, would be in order for the readers to judge whether he stands vindicated.

Mr.Prashant Bhushan of CJAR is now on a holiday at Palampur, and has not read the article, but has been told about it. He says the basic allegation of conflict of interests has not yet been answered by Justice Sabharwal. He is of course planning a point-to-point response to Justice Sabharwal's defence.

Meanwhile, Zee News telecast a programme in which senior advocates, Harish Salve, Mukul Rahtogi, and Arun Jaitley participated. Justice Sabharal, Justice A.S.Anand (former CJI) and Shanthi Bhushan were also interviewed by the channel on the issue. The Law Minister H.R.Bharadwaj also spoke. Salve, Rahtogi, and Bharadwaj were against CJAR for making these allegations. Justice Anand essentially was critical of this campaign because it was improper to do so when the High Court was already hearing a contempt matter relating to this, and the sealing case was still being heard in the Supreme Court. Bharadwaj was worried about the impact it would have on the institutional health of judiciary, as it is easy to make such allegations against every Judge. But Arun Jaitley was for testing it out through the recently amended Contempt of Courts Act which provided for truth as a defence. "Truth must come out" he said. But this apparently is the casualty with those responsible reluctant to institute a proper inquiry.
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