news Sunday, July 12, 2015 - 05:30
In a four-pronged attack on the BJP government and its law officers, BJP leader Subramanian Swamy has written to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi. In the letter Swamy, bemoans the “poor judgment of our Law Officers in crucial matters,” ranging from the now-defunct Section 66A of the IT Act to amenities for Ram Bhaktas. In the letter, which has four instances listed by Swamy as failure of the Law Officers, Swamy writes that if the seeming malaise persists, “our Party and Government will get a very bad name in the public just as Indira Gandhi got during the Emergency of 1975-77.” The 75-year-old leader cites the following four instances where “poor judgment has been exercised”: Section 66A: The SC had quashed Section 66A of the IT Act, terming it “vague” and “unconstitutional”, but Swamy says that the current government's stand to oppose the move “shocked all those who take pride in India being a democracy.” He mentions that the move goes against the International Covenant of Civil and Political rights which India had endorsed during the time of the Janata Party regime in 1979 and that it has attracted "heavy criticism from international organisations".   NJAC and the collegium system: Swamy writes that the Attorney General has been “specially critical” of the selection of judges by the prevailing collegium system. He adds that personal remarks were made about lady judges and that the Bar had not taken too well to it. The BJP leader though criticizes the move for the government constituted NJAC too. “The government-proposed Judicial Accountability Commission as an alternative to the collegium system has not been debated in any forum of our party and appears to be an arbitrarily unreasonably conceived idea,” he writes. Swamy adds that the move has not been received well, neither by the judiciary nor by the Supreme Court.   De-criminalisation of defamation: Swamy writes that the learnt from a leaked story in the TOI that the government was planning on opposing his writ petition to the SC to decriminalize the defamation law. He mentions that several democracies including Britain, Singapore and “even some African countries” had de-criminalised defamation. He says that as is in the case of Section 66A, the “Supreme Court may disregard the Government of India stand and could go ahead and quash the said section as unconstitutional.” He adds that the hearing in the case begins two days from now.   Amenities for Ram Bhaktas  : The BJP leader writes that six months ago the SC had taken “very seriously” his Special Leave Petition (SLP) to provide amenities for the worshippers of Lord Ram who visit Ayodhya. He adds that the permission for them to visit the makeshift temple was given by a court order by a SC bench in 1994. Swamy says that the temple is in bad shape and that the SC had asked him for a list of proposals to help the Ram Bhaktas. Swamy laments though that “disregarding the urgency of the matter”, the “ASG has sought one adjournment after another perhaps because the Attorney General and other Law Officers had no time to think about Ayodhya.” Towards the end of the letter, Swamy writes that if “this trend in the thinking and inclination of Law Officers continue as before then our party and government will get a very bad name in the public just as Indira Gandhi got during the Emergency of 1975-77.” Swamy also mentions that he wrote to BJP President Amit Shah in March seeking for a meeting of the National Executive in March to “discuss implementation of the Hindutva agenda included in the 2014 Manifesto.” He writes that the Ram temple could only be built “by legal measures” and asks Modi to convey the following message to Shah. “I hope it is possible for you to prevail upon the Party President to convene such a meeting since he has failed to reply to my letter even after four months on such a crucial issue dear to the hearts of all our party workers and Sangh Parivar,” he ends. Here is his letter to the PM in full: