Yatin Oza Makes Controversial Allegations Against Judiciary
The former BJP MLA, often credited with giving Amit Shah his political break, has written an explosive open letter.
(The Quint does not endorse or confirm any of the allegations made in senior advocate Yatin Oza’s letter, which we note is based for the most part on hearsay rather than any direct evidence. It should also be noted that the letter does not contain any response from the persons against whom allegations are made.)
Senior advocate Yatin Oza, a former BJP MLA, has written a controversial open letter in support of Justices Chelameswar, Gogoi, Lokur and Kurian Joseph, arguing that their recent actions were justified in light of serious allegations against CJI Dipak Misra. It should be noted that the judges have not endorsed or approved of Oza’s actions.
The 5-page letter, which can be accessed here, begins by referencing a special committee set up by former CJI TS Thakur in 2016 to conduct a probe into allegations against two judges of the Orissa High Court. Oza contends that the report of this committee, submitted in July 2017 to then-CJI JS Khehar, found the two High Court judges innocent but recommended the setting up of a further committee to look into allegations of grave and serious acts of corruption against Justice Dipak Misra. It should be noted that this report is not available in the public domain, and that Oza’s contentions cannot be confirmed or denied as a result.
Allegations Against the Chief Justices
Oza then goes on to allege that the former CJI had been under pressure ever since reports emerged that seemed to indicate wrongdoing by his son. He claims that the government pressurised Justice Khehar to reject the committee’s recommendation to investigate Justice Misra, which allowed the latter to take office as CJI after Justice Khehar’s retirement. The senior advocate at the Gujarat High Court also alleges that there were meetings between Justice Misra and Amit Shah – which he has based on hearsay and “gossip” among lawyers of the Supreme Court.
The letter then makes more allegations against the current CJI, which go beyond the assignment of important cases only to courts 8 and 10 of the Supreme Court (the latter is headed by Justice Arun Mishra, and had originally been assigned to hear the Judge Loya petitions) – again, it should be noted that no evidence is offered for these. He further writes that the four senior judges who held the press conference and wrote a public letter criticising the functioning of the Supreme Court had no personal issues against CJI Misra, and that they had actually acted in the interests of the country.
Support for Judges
He concludes the letter by criticising sections of the media, as well as the media cells of a certain political party for their aggressive campaign to “defame” the four judges, and alleges that this is part of a coordinated plan by that political party. He urges everyone to stand by the four senior judges, as not doing so risks the “existence, dignity and independence” of the Supreme Court. It should be noted that none of the four judges have endorsed these views and they are entirely unsolicited.
In a postscript, Oza also mentions that he will soon provide more details of the circumstances behind the death of CBI Special Judge BH Loya in 2014. This will allegedly include details on the actions of former Bombay High Court Chief Justice Mohit Shah, and the transfer of the judge who was originally supposed to be hearing Amit Shah’s discharge application (presumably in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case). Again, he does not indicate what his sources for this information are.
(We Indians have much to talk about these days. But what would you tell India if you had the chance? Pick up the phone and write or record your Letter To India. Don’t be silent, tell her how you feel. Mail us your letter at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll make sure India gets your message)
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