Arun Jaitley, Minister of Finance of India attends the session “The Global Economic Outlook” during the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland January 23, 2016. REUTERS/Ruben Sprich
New Delhi, Jan 17 (IANS) In a hard-hitting attack on opposition parties, specially the Congress and the Left, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Thursday said that a new class of “compulsive contrarians” has emerged after Narendra Modi government came to power and they indulge in “falsehood, subversion and institutional destruction” even if it is against the interest of the country.
In a Facebook post, the senior BJP leader, who is in the US for medical treatment, said that the right to campaign for stifling funds to the economy in the name of autonomy, justifying corruption in the name of institutional independence, attacking judges when the verdict is not favourable, manufacturing facts as in the case of Judge Loya’s death and the Rafale deal were indicative of the mindset of the compulsive contrarians.
“Free speech and the right to dissent are critical components of a democracy but falsehood, subversion and institutional destruction are not,” he said.
Jaitley talked about the press conference by four Supreme Court judges last year and said “it has done more damage to India’s judicial institutions than many would have envisaged.”
He accused compulsive contrarians of adopting double standards. “They could concoct arguments even if they went against the general interest of the country. They could masquerade corruption as crusade,” he said.
On Justice Loya case, he said that every fact alleged in public space by the compulsive contrarians was “manufactured” and the judge died a natural death due to a cardiac arrest.
“The campaign went for months altogether. The Compulsive Contrarians included a retired Judge of the Supreme Court and a former Chief Justice of Delhi High Court. They had no hesitation in allowing themselves to support falsehood without factual verification.”
Jaitley said a three-judge Bench of the Supreme Court dismissed every claim made in the case and the judgement was delivered on behalf of the Bench by Justice Dhananjaya Chandrachud.
“He was criticised on the social media. What if the same had been delivered by Chief Justice Dipak Misra? Another vicious campaign of calumny would have been launched against him by the Compulsive Contrarians.”
Jaitley said the contrarians have launched an attack on the selection committee headed by the Prime Minister which transferred the CBI Chief.
He asked if the norm to give two year fixed tenure to CBI chief had improved its functioning.
Referring to Supreme Court Judge A. K. Sikri, who was nominated by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi as his nominee in the selection panel meeting, Jaitely said the member of the Committee “was attacked for a non-existent conflict of interest and the person who had a real conflict of interest and should have refrained from attending the meeting became the accuser.”
He said Leader of Congress in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge was a campaigner for the ousted CBI chief and could not have sat in judgment over his innocence or guilt in the Committee.
“His was a text book case of bias. Any honourable man should have recused himself. His dissent as a biased man is non-est. Yet the conflicted man accuses one of the most honourable Judges of a conflict of interest,” he said.
Referring to the press conference by four judges of the Supreme Court last year, Jaitley said it brought judges into public gaze as “factionalized and battling for their own turf space.”
He said there are a set of extra-adventurist lawyers practising in the highest Court, as in every other courts whose strategy is to over-awe the court. “They threaten to walk out of cases, they make public comments on judges, use media to intimidate the Court.
“Having involved themselves in an ugly public conduct, judges find themselves unable to exercise jurisdiction to stop such conduct by others,” he said adding that former Chief Justice Dipak Misra was “attacked” by the compulsive contrarians.
“A precedent has now been legitimised. His successors will find it difficult to escape similar treatment. The threat to the independence of judiciary can also come from the public pressures that these Contrarians exert on Judges.”
Jaitley said that “collegium proceedings and conversations in the past two years have been faithfully reported in one particular newspaper (a Compulsive Contrarian), thereby underscoring the nexus.”
On RBI, Jaitley said the government in recent months has strongly felt that certain sectors of the economy needed credit and liquidity support.
“Every stakeholder in the market was in agreement with the Government position but the contrarians deflected the credit and liquidity issue to the issue of autonomy. After all the Government was only addressing the autonomous RBI and asking it to resolve the issues which lay in its domain.”
Jaitley said the purchase of Rafale combat jets was another case of “concocted falsehood” and pricing, the process, and the offset aspects were upheld by the Supreme Court.
“The Contrarians were proved to be liars,” he said.
“Nations are built by those with positive mindsets and a national vigour, not by the compulsive contrarians. Didn’t left-liberals find fault with the various actions that Gandhiji took during the freedom movement? Weakening a sovereign elected government and strengthening the unelectable is only a subversion of democracy,” he said.
He said the contrarians had picked holes in the proposal to give 10 per cent reservation in education and public jobs to the poor, propagation of Aadhaar and questions were raised over surgical strikes.
Jaitley said there are some in the political system who thought that they were born to rule and some, who were part of the ideological left and the ultra-left, obviously found the Modi government wholly unacceptable.
“Hence emerged a new class of compulsive contrarians. The contrarians believed that this government could do no good. Every act of it must be opposed.”