Nothing Wrong in PM Visiting Supreme Court: Ex-Judge Lokur
“There was nothing wrong in inviting PM to a public function,” Justice Madan Lokur said.
There was nothing wrong in Prime Minister Narendra Modi visiting the Supreme Court premises and meeting Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, former SC judge Justice Madan B Lokur said on Wednesday, 23 January.
He, however, added that although judges should stay away from political thicket, they should "not be hermits or be sitting in ivory tower".
“I don’t know what do you mean by distance. Are you suggesting that I shouldn’t see the face of the Prime Minister? There was nothing wrong in inviting PM to a public function. It was perfectly okay to open the doors of the Supreme Court.”Justice Madan B Lokur, former Supreme Court judge
"You are reading too much into it and stretching it too far," he said on Chief Justice Gogoi agreeing to the wish of the PM to have a look at the CJI's court room.
Chief Justice Gogoi had invited the prime minister to attend a dinner he was hosting on 25 November for judges from the BIMSTEC countries – Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar, Nepal and Thailand.
On the unprecedented presser held by four senior judges on 12 January 2018, including him and CJI Gogoi, against the functioning of the then Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice Lokur said it was worth holding and it achieved something.
The presser brought some openness in the functioning of Supreme Court, he said.
"I think it (presser) was worth it. I am sure we achieved something. Little bit of openness in system. We had discussion with the then CJI but when we did not get positive response, we thought it was appropriate to let the people know about what we think," Lokur said at the interaction organised by the legal portal The Leaflet.
He further said that evidence of corruption needs to be taken into account before elevation of judges.
Though Justice Lokur accepted that sometimes judiciary has over-stepped, he refused to agree that it has over-reached.
Justice Lokur declined to comment on the functioning of Justice Gogoi as the CJI.
He, however, said that if allegations are levelled against any judge or the CJI, then it troubles him.
(This story has been edited for length.)
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