Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today created ripples by alleging that there is a “widespread” fear that the phones of judges are being tapped and said if it is true, then it is the biggest assault on the independence of the judiciary.
Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad promptly denied the allegations, saying the independence of judiciary is fundamental and uncompromising for the Narendra Modi government.
Kejriwal claimed during his meetings with judges he has “overheard them telling each other that they should not talk on phones because they could be tapped”. The Chief Minister said when he told them the phones of judges cannot be tapped, “they retorted by saying that all phones could be tapped”.
“I don’t know whether it is true or not but there is a widespread fear. If it is true that phones are tapped then judges can be influenced…,” he said.
Addressing the golden jubilee celebrations of Delhi High Court here in which Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Justice of India T S Thakur also participated, he said even if there has been a wrong-doing by a judge then phone tapping should not be allowed.
“There are many other ways to gather evidence for wrongdoing, otherwise it will be the biggest assault on the independence of the judiciary,” he said.
Prasad, who spoke after Kejriwal, said, “I deny with all authority at command the allegations that phones of judges have been tapped.”
He said right from the prime minister to other ministers and the government, all have fought for the independence of judiciary and individual liberty and freedom of media during emergency.
“Independence of judiciary is fundamental, impeachable and uncompromising for the government,” he said.
Kejriwal also referred to the actions of judiciary as well as the executives which may take away the rights of the people.
“If any action of the executive snatches the power of the people, if any judicial interpretation of the Constitution takes away power of the people then it is not good for democracy,” he said.